Created By: Scarborough Civic Society
Royal Albert Drive, opened in 1890 by the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, eldest son of the Prince of Wales, was the second part of Scarborough's sea side promenade to be developed, following the building of what was originally called South Foreshore Road in the 1870s.
The north side of the town was developing in the late nineteenth century but there were concerns that the further development of the area would be hindered by landslips and even that the existing properties might be damaged by such events. The construction of a sea wall was intended to protect the cliffs from the action of the waves and at the same time provide the base on which a promenade could be built. In 1887, Mr Whateley Eliot was appointed resident special engineer and began devising plans for Royal Albert Drive. In May of that year the Corporation committed themselves to Eliot's plan. It covered the draining and laying out of the cliff and the construction of a sea wall from Peasholm Beck to the Castle Holms with a roadway 12 metres (40 feet) wide and a promenade 7.6 metres (25 feet) wide. On 1 January 1887, Mayor John Woodall laid the foundation stone of the sea wall and promenade, and work proceeded rapidly.
Clarence Gardens opened at the same time as Royal Albert Drive. After the premature and essentially unsuccessful developments on the north side - the Rock Gardens (1860) and the Promenade Pier (1869) - there was now a major attraction featuring a bandstand and plenty of places to sit and relax.
Clarence Gardens experienced changes, especially after a major landslip in the early 1920s, but the north side continued to develop, for example with the construction of Peasholm Park and Northstead Manor Gardens. By the 1930s both of Scarborough’s bays had many attractions for visitors and residents alike.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scarborough Marine Drive the history