History of Ravenscar
Ravenscar used to house a Roman signal station, thanks to the towering height of the cliffs and the brilliant visibility over the surrounding area. The signal station likely formed part of a longer chain of signals to help the Romans defend against invading Scots from the North, or Saxons from across the sea. Beacons could be lit all along the Yorkshire coast, from Teesdale to the Humber, to warn of impending attack.
The area was useful to emerging wool and textile industry in the 1600s, when alum was discovered. Alum was used to make coloured dyes stick to materials so that it wouldn’t wash out. You can still visit the Peak Alum Works and learn more about the process when you visit the area.
Ravenscar is often known as ‘the town that never was’ thanks to its Victorian history. In 1896, Peak, the settlement at the time, saw work begin on their clifftop home. Drains, sewers and roads were built and grand plans for a seaside resort that would rival Blackpool and Scarborough were being drawn up. This town never emerged, as the company who were responsible for it went bankrupt.
Things to do in Ravenscar
Although not the tourist hot spot that the Victorian’s hoped it would be, but there’s still plenty to do in Ravenscar and the surrounding area.
A visit to the Ravenscar National Trust Visitor Centre is a must. Lots of the land is now owned and maintained by the National Trust and their centre is full of interesting information about the area’s history and geological significance.
This is the perfect place to go on a wildlife walk. There are lots of spots that you can visit where you’ll catch sight of grey and common seals, and there will be a whole host of life just waiting to be discovered in rock pools up and down the coast. The moorland is also full of wildlife; look out for deer, brown hares, water voles, red grouse, short eared owls and rare birds like the treecreeper and dipper.
If it’s walking you like, there are many wonderful routes you can take that start or end in Ravenscar. It is part of the Cleveland Way, a fantastic challenge for any walker. You don’t have to take part in the whole 109 miles, you can enjoy wander along the paths for as long, or as little, as you like.
Peak Alum Works are a fun trip to see the area’s history. You can learn about the techniques we used to use to create brightly coloured clothing. Visit the Coastal Centre in Ravenscar village to find out more.
Treat yourself to a little luxury at Raven Hall Hotel too while you’re here. They have delicious cakes and foodie delights for you to enjoy – perfect after a long walk. The hotel also has an onsite pool and sauna, and games facilities including games room, 2 all-weather tennis courts, putting green, and croquet lawn for guests to enjoy.
Fossil hunting is also high on the agenda when you visit this part of the UK’s coastline. It’s very common for beachgoers to find a fossil or two as they’re walking along the cliff shadowed beaches. Just make sure you’re aware of high tide times and don’t get too close to the cliffs as you’re searching.
Take a trip to Ravenscar beach
So, if Ravenscar beach wasn’t somewhere you’re planning to visit on your trip to the Yorkshire coast, it should be! You’ll have an amazing time in the town that never was. Don’t forget to tweet us your pictures.