6.  Newborough Bar

From medieval times, Scarborough was a walled and moated town. Newborough Bar was the centrepiece of these fortifications and the principal point of entry. It was probably erected before the reign of Henry III and was rebuilt in 1642. Newborough Bar also served as a local prison for several centuries, refractory and drunken prisoners being confined on the north side of the bar, debtors on the south side next to the gaoler’s lodgings. It was last fortified in 1745, when 6 guns were mounted on either side of Newborough Bar. The guns were never fired in action, and the bar reverted to its penal function for the next 100 years. When the prisoners were transferred to more secure and less insanitary premises, first in Castle Road and then to the ‘model’ prison in Dean Road designed by the architect W. B. Stewart and built in 1866 (still surviving in a different role), Newborough Bar had outlived its useful purpose. It was demolished in 1847 and replaced by the purely ornamental Newborough Bar, designed by John Barry. This imposing neo-Gothic castellated structure impeded the growing traffic flow along the town’s main street. It was bought by the Corporation in 1890 and knocked down. At the end of North Street the building that stands next to the site of Newborough Bar was formerly the Bar Hotel. On the wall of this building can be found a plaque along with a fixture for the Pancake Bell (dated 1996). The bell, which is placed in situ on Shrove Tuesday, is rung to start the annual pancake race. This bell is a comparatively new edition of the original ‘curfew’ bell. Now retrace your steps down the Newborough pedestrian precinct and turn left on to St Thomas Street. Just before Chapman, Preston & Hastie’s (CPH) estate agency on the right stood a famous theatre for nearly 200 years.