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Scarborough Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Awburgh; Newburgh

In the civil parish of Scarborough.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: TA041888
Latitude 54.28277° Longitude -0.39923°

Scarborough Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


No remains of C13 masonry town wall. First murage grant in 1225 and intermittent grants given in C13 and C14. May have been extended to add Newburgh to Awburgh defences. Leland noted town was walled a little with stone, but mostly with ditches and walls of earth.

The earliest settlement, or 'aldborough,' lay beneath the castle near the harbour; it was walled by the time of King John. The wall ran from a moat on the north, by Auborough and Cross Street, to the sea (Now called King Street); from this point the southern wall went east, along Merchants' Row, now Eastborough, to the castle dykes. The castle and its 'scaur' 300 ft. high protected the town on the east. The moat was still traceable on the north in 1798, when the foundations of the walls were still to be seen. The town had spread westward by the time of Henry III, and this extension, the new borough, was protected by a ditch, (called New Dyke in 1637) which started from the coast at Huntriss Row, went north by St. Thomas's Hospital, north-east to Auborough Gate, and east to the foot of the castle hill. In 1225 the men of Scarborough obtained a grant of forty oaks from the king's wood and the right to levy tolls on ships for three years towards the defences of the town. The Dominicans, who were building just outside Auborough wall on the north-west, wanting stone for their church and running water for their workshops, sought leave in 1283–4 to pull down the wall as cumbersome and useless. The burgesses opposed this, as earlier in the century the wall, though old and partly destroyed, had checked the advance against the castle of the enemies of King John and Henry III, who were further thwarted by the Newborough ditch. The burgesses urged the building of a wall behind the ditch, and it was probably for this wall that murage for seven years was obtained in 1308 and throughout the 14th century. According to tradition the northern part was walled by Richard III and the whole was in good preservation in the 16th century. There were gates at Newborough, the entrance from York, a gate 'meatley good,' according to Leland, and at Auborough, 'very base,' where the remains of a small keep were found in 1806. Both gates were renewed in 1642. The Auborough gate disappeared early, the Newborough gates were in 1843 replaced by a pseudo-Gothic bar, itself removed in 1890. (VCH)

April 8. 1304. St. Ford. 32 Edward I. Licence, after inquisition ad quod damnum made by the bailiffs of Scardeburgh, for John de Pycheford to repair, at his own expense, 200 feet of the old wail of that town, which is fallen down and broken, and which adjoins a plot of his there, and to build houses on that part of the wall and hold them when so built to him and his heirs for ever. By p.s. (CPR p. 219-20)

This licence suggests some of the old walls (Awburgh) were now longer required after construction of new defences which would also date the new defences to before 1304.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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