In Scarborough there is a park on each side of the Ramsdale valley, which is crossed by the Cliff Bridge, built in 1827, and the Ramsdale Valley Bridge, opened in 1865. Ramsdale Valley (once the scene of corn mills) became the People's Park in 1860. The main road through the valley (formerly Mill Lane) was completed in 1861. People's Park was named Valley Gardens in 1912.
Extract from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)
Ramsdale Valley: Scarborough derives an advantage not possessed by many watering places from its natural conformation of hill and dale. Not only has it two distinct portions, separated by the valley, but connected by the two bridges which obviate the necessity for a descent of the one hill and an ascent of the other; but the rocky promontory of castle cliff gives it two bays, each with its own distinctive features of attraction of an opposite character.
New (Cliff) Bridge, Scarborough in 1830
The Cliff Bridge, which spans the ravine, in which the Aquarium is built, and leads from St. Nicholas' Cliff to the Spa, is a splendid iron structure, 414 feet long and 13½ feet wide, whilst the height above water mark is 75 feet. The foundation stone was laid in 1826, and the bridge was opened to the public in 1827. It cost about £9,000. In 1880 the width of the road was increased, and a siding was added for the convenience of persons desiring only to walk between the town and the south cliff. The toll is one halfpenny. The prospect from this bridge is at once extensive and varied, and with the walks about the Spa, a picture is constituted which is not often equalled, and seldom excelled.
The Valley Bridge has proved, next to the Cliff Bridge, one of the most important additions to the means of inter-communication in the town, as it has done away with the necessity for the descent and ascent of steep cliffs between the two portions of the town. It was first erected over the Ouse at York, but purchased and re-erected here by a company in 1865. The bridge consists of three spans of neary 300 feet each, crossed by means of wrought-iron girders. The roadway on the bridge itself rises about nine feet from south to north. The length of the iron work is 550 feet, and the clear width 39 feet. The toll is one halfpenny each person; for horses, carriages, &c., see bye-laws.
The views on either hand from this bridge are truly charming. Looking down the valley may be seen winding walks amid the foliage of the park, the wooded sides of which are relieved by the richly cultivated gardens; further, the Museum and the Aquarium, the Cliff Bridge and Grand Hotel; and beyond, the castle hill with the German ocean in the distance studded with vessels. The view inland is a panorama of hills and dales and sylvan beauty.
The People's Park: This name has been given to Ramsdale Valley, commencing near the Aquarium and extending towards Falsgrave. It is thickly wooded, and tastefully laid out, with numerous walks and seats. A path branching to the right, under a splendid avenue of lofty trees, leads to the railway station. Further up is the fish pond, while many rare swans, geese, and other fowls of various plumage add picturesqueness to the scene.