Spa and holiday resort on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, northern England, 56 km/35 mi northeast of York; population (2001) 38,400; urban area 50,100. It is a touring centre for the Yorkshire Moors, and is also centre for fishing. A ruined 12th-century Norman castle overlooks the town.
The playwright Alan Ayckbourn has a long association with Scarborough as artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, and many of his plays have been premiered in the theatre in the round.
features The Norman castle was built on a rocky headland (87 m/285 ft high) which separates Scarborough's north and south bays. Bronze Age and Iron Age relics have been recovered from the site and in the castle yard are the remains of a Roman signal station. Remains of the Norman castle include the 12th-century keep and the 13th-century barbican. Other features include St Mary's church dating from about 1180; a house where King Richard III is said to have stayed; and Wood End, formerly a home of the Sitwell family, which now houses a museum.
History During the Civil War the castle surrendered to Parliamentary forces after a siege in 1645. George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends, was imprisoned in the castle from 1665 to 1666. Scarborough developed as a resort after the discovery of mineral spring water in 1620.
Famous people Scarborough was the birthplace of the poet Edith Sitwell. The novelist Anne Brontë is buried in the churchyard of St Mary's church.