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Early 1870's engraving of the church showing the building before its extension to the west in 1879


The History of St. Martin's

The Beginnings:

In the 1840s Scarborough began to expand onto the South Cliff with the building of The Crown Hotel and Crown Terrace.

By 1858 South Cliff was criss-crossed with a network of roads and drains, and terraces and crescents were steadily rising as building plots were acquired and new houses built.

People moving to the South Cliff or staying there for a holiday needed their own church. Otherwise they had to walk across the Spa Bridge to St. Mary's Church near The Castle. So the Corporation of Scarborough and the directors of The South Cliff Company set up a committee to build a new church on South Cliff.

An announcement in The Scarborough Gazette for August 19th 1858 read:

The proposed new church on South Cliff, Scarborough.

The great inconveniences which result from the limited extent of the church accommodation in this parish, and the want in particular of a public place of worship on the South Cliff have long been felt, both by the inhabitants and the visitors.

In order to obviate disadvantages so serious, it is proposed to erect by subscription, a suitable church.

This was the first public mention of St. Martin's Church. The project got off to a good start because the owners of The Crown Hotel donated land that they owned on Albion Road, worth £1000, for the church to be built on. There was also a published list of fifty subscribers who had donated amounts for the building of the church from £1 to £50.

By September 1859 the fund had reached £2,969/10/0. However, this was far from the estimated £6,000 needed to build the church, and it began to look as if the project would fail. However, it was at this point that a South Cliff resident stepped in to rescue it. Next