Filey & District

Background to Filey

Filey is a small town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the East Riding of Yorkshire, it forms part of the borough of Scarborough and is located between Scarborough and Bridlington on the North Sea coast. Although it started out as a fishing village, it has a large beach and is a popular tourist resort. According to the 2011 UK census, Filey parish had a population of 6,981,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 6,819.[2]


Filey is at the eastern end of the Cleveland Way a long-distance footpath; this starts at Helmsley and skirts the North York Moors. It was the second National Trail to be opened (1969). It is also the northern end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail which starts at Hessle and crosses the Yorkshire Wolds. Filey is the finishing point for Great Yorkshire Bike Ride. The 70-mile (110 km) ride begins at Wetherby Racecourse.

Filey has a railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line. Previously Filey also had a second station Filey Holiday Camp railway station to the south of the town serving the former Butlins holiday camp. This camp has now been re-developed into a 600-home holiday housing development [3].
In July 2007 Filey was hit by flash floods which caused major problems in the town, with various areas suffering damage.[4][5]


The 12th-century parish church of St Oswald, on Church Hill in the north of the town, is a Grade I listed building.[6] It is the oldest building in Filey[citation needed] and Nicholas Pevsner wrote 'This is easily the finest church in the NE corner of the East Riding' Buildings of England’.[7]

St Oswalds Church Filey Filey remained a small village until the 18th century when visitors from Scarborough arrived seeking the peace and quiet that Filey offered. Then in 1835 a Birmingham solicitor called John Wilkes Unett bought 7 acres (28,000 m2) of land and built the Crescent, later known as the Royal Crescent which was opened in the 1850s.

English composer Frederick Delius stayed as a boy on the Crescent with his family at Miss Hurd's boarding house (number 24) in 1876 and 1877 and then also at Mrs. Colley's (number 24) in 1897.

In 1931 the spire of a church was damaged by the Dogger Bank earthquake.

For more than 40 years Butlins Filey Holiday Camp was a major factor in Filey's economy. Building work began in 1939 and continued during the Second World War in which time it became an air force station known as RAF Hunmanby Moor. In 1945 it became a popular holiday resort complete with its own railway station and by the late 1950s it could cater for 10,000 holiday makers. It closed in 1984, causing a decrease in the holiday makers visiting Filey.[8]

[1]Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Area: Filey CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
[2]2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Filey CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
[3]Greenwood, Lynne (26 October 2006). "Hi de Hi for a holiday home". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2 May 2010.
[4]Floods Hit". Filey & Hunmanby Mercury. 18 July 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2007.
[5]Flash floods hit east coast town". BBC (BBC News Online). 18 July 2007. Retrieved 29 February 2008.
[6]English Heritage. "Church of St Oswald (1316455)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
[7]Pevsner, Nikolaus; Neave, David (2002) [1972]. Yorkshire: York and the East Riding: The Buildings of England (2nd Ed. ed.). Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09593-7.
[8]Filey is an Anglican name". Filey & Hunmanby Mercury. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 13 March 2013.