Wapentake and Petty Sessional Division of Whitby Strand - Electoral Division of Eskdaleside - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Whitby - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
Fylingdales is a parish and township half-a-mile north of Robin Rood's Bay, and six miles south of Whitby. The principal landowners are Sir Charles William Strickland, of Whitby Abbey and Manor House, Robin Hood's Bay, who is lord of the manor; John Warren Barry, Esq., J.P., Fyling Hall; and Mr. William Farside, Thorpe Hall, The parish contains about 13,000 acres, valued, for rating purposes, at £7,432, and bas a population of 1,500. The soil is various, having a subsoil mostly of clay. The climate is everything that can be wished for where a bracing and stimulating effect is required. The air is remarkably pure, and the heights around, some being 800 feet above sea level, break the storms of wind from the north.
Fylingdales is called, in Domesday Book, "Figeling.". After the conquest a part of it came into the possession of Tancred the Fleming who had followed the fortunes of William the Conqueror, and he, after an ownership of about 30 years, sold it to William de Percy, abbot of Whitby.
It is not known with certainty when or by whom the church of Fyling was first built, but in all probability it was erected by the abbot of Whitby, shortly after the place came into his possession, and the building indeed showed signs of its Norman origin. It was dedicated to St. Stephen, and was probably an appendage of Whitby Abbey till the dissolution of the monastery. In 1821 a faculty was granted to rebuild the naves and aisles, and re-pew the church, and this was done in 1822.
This church, which has now ceased to be a place of public worship, is a plain stone edifice, with a chancel and tower, and stands about a mile from Robin Hood's Bay and the village of Thorpe, on a hill overlooking the German Ocean. The site seems to have been chosen, as nearly as could be, in the centre of the largest possible number of scattered hamlets.
The new church, also dedicated to St. Stephen, stands about midway on the road leading from Thorpe to Robin Hood's Bay. It will seat about 400, and was built in 1870, from designs by the eminent architect, Mr. Street, the late Mr. Barry, of Park Hill, being a large contributor to the cost. The style is geometric Gothic, with a slight introduction of German. The church consists of a sacrarium, chancel, nave, and south aisles, and a tower, containing eight bells. All the windows in the church are of stained glass, amongst them being one to the memory of the late Mr. Matthew Bedlington, of Robin Hood's Bay.
The vicarage stands on Thorpe Lane or Road, nearly opposite the church, and was purchased some years ago for £550, raised by subscription. With alterations and additions of later years, the house is now worth considerably over £1,000. The patron of the living, valued at £280, is the Archbishop of York, and the present vicar is the Rev. R. J. Cooper, M.A.
CHARITIES - The poor parishioners, school, &c., have 24s. a year from two closes, called Storrground, left in 1708, by Edward Harrison; 13s. 4d. a year out of Flask Farm, left by William Bland, in 1735; the dividends of £100, navy five per cents., purchased with £100, left by Miss Watson, in 1814; the interest of £200, left by C. Richardson, in 1785; the interest of £20, left in 1821, by Thomas Huntrodes; of £50, left by W. Farsyde, in 1825; of £25, left in 1829, by John Watson. Alice Galilee left a rent-charge of 25s. a year, in 1847, out of a house in Whitby. Thomas Strother left, by will, £300, out of which £180 4s. only was received in 1830 for want of assets. This was bequeathed to the National school of Fylingthorpe.
The National school (mixed) was erected in 1861, by subscription. It is a fine and roomy building, with playgrounds and a teacher's residence. There is accommodation for 200, with an average attendance of 80.
The Wesleyan chapel is a plain stone building, erected in 1818, near the North terrace, and affords accommodation for 100. In 1853 it was repaired by money from subscriptions.
Robin Hood's Bay is the name of a fine semi-circular bay, and a village, in the parish of Fylingdales, about half-a-mile from the parish church, six miles south of Whitby, and 14 north of Scarborough. It has a most romantic and picturesque appearance, many of the houses being built on the extreme verge of the cliff, overhanging the sea. The village, for the sake of definiteness, is often called Baytown. Leland, who visited it in 1536, speaks of it as a "fishing townlet of 20 boats". The town is so constructed that visitors approaching from the direction of Whitby, are almost in the place before they see it. It derives its name from the famous English outlaw, whose exploits have been so often told in song and story. The tradition, which accounts for the name of Robin Hood being attached to this place, is to the effect, that when he was hard pressed by the officers of the law, he retired here with his men, and put out to sea in boats which he took care to have ready for the occasion. He is said to have, at times, resided here; and two mounds on the adjoining moor were supposed to have served as marks for him and his men when exercising in shooting with the long bow. "The Butt", as these mounds were called from this tradition, have been ascertained to be the sepulchral tumuli of ancient Britons. Fine views are obtained of this strangely placed town, as well as of the bay, from Cawfoot Hill on the south-east, and Ness point, on the north side. There is a saline chalybeate spring in the neighbourhood, the waters of which are suitable for strumous affections. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution have stationed one of their boats here. The keys of the station are kept at the vicarage.
At the south-east angle of the bay is the promontory of Peak, or Raven Hill, near to which, the cliffs rise 600 feet above the level of the sea. A mansion, called Raven Hall, is near this place, and occupies the site of a Roman, and afterwards, it is thought, a Danish fort. It was erected in 1774, and in digging the foundations, an inscribed stone was found, and is now in the Whitby museum. Dr. Young gives the following as the most probable reading and explanation of the inscription
M.A.S.B ITER JV. PR.
M. Castrum. Fect.
Justinianus præses provinciæ
Magister armorum Superioris Britanniæ iterum, junioribus provincialum.
Militum, castrum fecerunt:
adjuvante curatore operum.
Justinian, Governor of the Province, and Vindician, General of the Forces of Upper Britain for the second time, with the younger provincial soldiers built this fort, the manager of public works giving his assistance.
The Wesleyan chapel is a large stone building, with accommodation for 400. The school, built in 1840, has accommodation for 60, and an average attendance of 40. The Congregationalists have a fine spacious chapel on Fisher Head, erected in 1840, at a cost of £800, capable of seating 400. Rev. Mr. Dalton, minister. They have also a Hall, erected in 1889, at a cost of £320, with seats for 250. It consists of three rooms, separated by movable partitions, and can form together one room with space for 400 people. A Girls' National school, in the square, consists of two storeys, one for infants, and the other for girls. Number on the books, 120.
Fylingthorpe, or Thorpe, is a pretty village, a mile distant from Robin Hood Bay, and half-a-mile from the railway station. Normanby, Ramsdale, Park Gate, Stoupe Brow, and Raw are all hamlets here.
There are two stations in the parish, on the Scarborough and Whitby branch railway. Both were opened in 1885.