Scarborough Spa

The Spa, Scarborough is now a theatre hosting music performances and festivals, but its original purpose was quite different.

In the 17th century spring water was discovered by Mrs Thomasin Farrer, the wife of one of Scarborough’s leading citizens, John Farrer. She found the water bubbling out beneath the cliff to the south of the town, where the Spa is today.

These waters, which stained the rocks a russet colour, tasted slightly bitter and were said to cure various illnesses. She told her friends and neighbours about the medicinal effects and soon drinking the Spa waters became an accepted medicine. Later thousands of visitors came to try the water and to bathe in the sea, which was also thought to be good for one’s health. Scarborough is said to be England's first seaside resort.