Trail: Bridlington - Townscape Heritage

Rewind the clock and explore the history of the buildings and streets of Bridlington Quay.

Travel from point-to-point using the app as your guide and view each vintage photograph from around the location where it was taken. (Always be careful of your surroundings when using this app).

This is a guest trail from the Bridlington Townscape Heritage project, part of the Bridlington Renaissance Partnership.

(Please note that the route does involve steps between points 2-4).

With thanks to volunteer Declan Atken for helping to develop the trail.

The Floral Staircase (1907)

Esplanade is arguably the Bridlington street that has changed most. Once it had the most select lodging houses and private villas in the Quay. Early sketches, before the construction of the sea wall show the open space of the esplanade (for exercising horses). By the 1890s houses were being converted into places of entertainment, including winter gardens, skating rink and concert hall. Later on they became the amusements and cafes you can see today.  With this archive image from 1907, you can see how once this area was adorned with beautiful floral decoration.


That’s the end of the trail!  Why not continue to East Riding Leisure Bridlington for refreshments and the Tourist Information Centre to see what’s on offer in the town. Or head down to Bridlington Spa on the other side of town and see what’s on?

The Crescent (1913)

The Crescent and Marlborough Terrace were built around 1870 by G. W. Travis and show the ambitions of Victorian Bridlington. The local board (council) had bought and cleared this area following the construction of the sea wall.

According to one guide the buildings were in “a most salubrious position, having all the benefits of the health-giving sea-breezes for which the town is so justly noted”. They quickly became desirable holiday accommodation, a purpose that still remains today.

Promenade (1907)

By the 1880s, shops were replacing the earlier houses and paddocks. In 1869 the ‘temporary’ wooden chalet shops, known as Cheapside, were built. They were still there when this picture was taken in 1907.

One occupant was George Holden, a maker of artificial teeth! In the far distance can be seen the spire of Holy Trinity church. In the middle on the right is the Congregational church’s turret (now part of the pub), with the United Methodist Free Church on the left.

Royal Prince’s Parade (1914)

Prince’s Parade (‘Royal’ was added in 1888 when Price Albert Victor visited) was created when the sea wall was built in 1867 and became the place for ‘promenading’.

This image shows the ornate entrance gates opposite Cliff Street – entry was not free then! Behind the Floral Pavilion and bandstand is the Grand Pavilion, built in 1906, and now the site of a funfair. The leisure centre has replaced Fort Hall in the middle of this photograph.

Garrison Square (1900)

The tall, red-brick building in the background was the ‘Old Town Hall’ (also known as Royal Victoria Rooms), which was built in 1847 but destroyed by fire on 22nd September 1933. The other building is the end of Cliff Terrace. Today you can still see the edge of the cellar next to the semi-circular steps. Since then it has remained a largely open space apart from the Pier Buffet.

Futuristic 1960’s plans for a glass viewing tower never materialised.

Prince Street (1913)

This image dates from 1913. In the foreground you can see the terminus for Williamson’s buses. The left side of the street hasn’t changed much, apart from the former Woolworths which was built in 1924.

But in 1944 a World War Two bomb hit Foley’s Café as well as destroying the Britannia Hotel on the other side of the street. Further down the street Shaw’s Premier Amusements is a classic example of a 1970s ‘Vegas’-style amusement arcade.

King Street (1909)

(Our trail begins near the library, on the Manor Street end of King Street between NatWest and Boyes. Use ‘View on map from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).

King Street is one of the oldest streets in Bridlington Quay. The East Riding Archives have maps showing it from 1828 onwards. This image shows the bustle of market day in 1909. Most buildings have been altered or replaced, but you may just spot the Murray Hills building behind J. Lawson & Sons (in the foreground, to the right), which sold toys and fancy goods. Boyes has replaced Au Bon Marché. In 1911 a drapery sale was so popular the police had be called to manage the queue!