The Settlement of North Filey


            Although it is yet to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, there seems to be more than just coincidental evidence relating to an earlier settlement near to, or even under, St. Oswald’s Church.  The evidence found during the excavations of 1924 to 1926 point to some form of building lying in a similar orientation to the church whilst much of the other features located within the foundations of the Buck Manor House give further credence to the idea that an established, sedentary settlement was there before the church was built.  The excavations under the guidance of Sister Xavier also provide tantalising clues about the previous uses of the site and manage to suggest some logical ideas about some of the more confusing aspects of the earlier excavations such as the fireplaces and ‘kilns’.

            The document connected to Ralph de Nevill (see Appendix 1) gives another hint and it might be worth speculating here that the area referred to as ‘Le Hoc’ could be Filey Brigg.  This would certainly go a long way to explaining the Spittals there – even the surveyor of the excavations, R.M. Robson thinks that the quarried stone was removed from ‘the Doodles’ on the Brigg (see Appendix 3).

            Although this work has answered a few questions about early Medieval Filey there is still a massive amount that remains an enigma and only further work will begin to give us a deeper insight into Filey in the past.


CLAY, P.T.   1927. Excavation summary: Visit of East Riding Antiquarians Society.  Unpublished.

CRIMLISK, J. (ed.) Un.  Archive Folder: Church Farm Excavations 1924-1926.  Unpublished.

FARMER, P.  1977.  The Excavations at Queen Street, Filey.  Scarborough Archaeological & History Society: Scarborough.

OTTAWAY P, BRICKSTOCK R, CARROTT J, COOL H. E. M., DOBNEY K, GAJOWSKI R, GARSIDE-NEVILLE S, GAUNT G. D. HALL A, ISSITT M, JAQUES D, LARGE F, MONAGHAN J.  2000.  Excavations on the site of the Roman signal station at Carr Naze, Filey, 1993-94.  Archaeological Journal: London.  vol. 157, pp. 79 – 199.

PRICKETT, Rev. M.  1835.  A History of the Priory Church at Bridlington.  Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

ROBSON, R.M.  1926.  Excavations North Side of Filey Parish Church.  Unpublished letter.

SHAW, G.  1886.  2nd Edition: Rambles Around Filey.  Shaw & Gray Publishers: Grimsby.

The Filey Bay Initiative is wishes to than Dan Eaton for giving his permission to reproduce his report on this site.

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