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Staithes



Staithes is a seaside village in North Yorkshire, England. Roxby Beck (a small river) running through Staithes is the border between the Borough of Scarborough and neighbouring Redcar and Cleveland. Formerly one of the largest and most productive fishing centres in England by the North Sea, Staithes is now largely a tourist destination thanks to its picturesque appearance.

Staithes is noted for its sheltered harbour, bounded by high cliffs and two long breakwaters. A mile to the north, Boulby Cliff is the highest cliff in England. For a brief period Boulby Cliff was mined for alum, a mineral used to improve the strength and permanency of colour when dying cloth. This mining was relatively short lived as a cheaper method was developed soon after the boom in alum mining. The ruined remnants of the mines can still be seen from the cliff top when walking the Cleveland Way between Staithes and Skinningrove.

Staithes has long been a destination for geologists researching the ancient Jurassic (Lias), often fossiliferous strata in the enormous cliffs surrounding the village. In the early nineties a rare fossil of a seagoing dinosaur was discovered after a rockfall in the cliffs between Staithes and Port Mulgrave to the south. This fossil has been the focus of an ongoing project to remove the ancient bones of the creature.

The beauty of the village has always lent itself to art as shown by the village's long history of well acknowledged painters. The village was home to a small group of twenty to thirty artists known as the "Staithes Group" or the "Northern Impressionists". The group contained renowned artists such as Edward E. Anderson, Joseph R. Bagshawe, Thomas Barrett and James W. Booth and was inspired by other impressionists such as Monet, Cezanne and Renoir. Dame Laura Knight became the most famous member of the Staithes Group; she and her husband and fellow painter Harold Knight kept a studio in the village.
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