History of Filey

Here at Filey Today, we’ve attempted to dig into the local history books to provide you with an ease of access understanding of the history of Filey.


Filey Bay and its surrounding areas have evidence of prehistoric settlements and ancient human activities, including burial mounds and artifacts.

Roman and Viking Era

The Yorkshire coast, including Filey, was likely inhabited during Roman and Viking periods. Archaeological finds suggest the presence of early settlers and traders.

Medieval Eva

The Domesday Book (1086) mentions Filey as a small settlement. Fishing and agriculture were essential for the local economy.

St. Oswald’s Church, a medieval church in Filey, has origins dating back to the 12th century.

17th and 18th Centuries

  • Fishing became a significant industry for Filey, with residents relying on the bounty of the North Sea.

19th Century

  • Filey started to gain popularity as a seaside resort, attracting tourists seeking the health benefits of sea bathing.
  • The Crescent, a row of distinctive Georgian houses, was built in the early 19th century, contributing to Filey’s architectural charm.
  • Filey became a fashionable Victorian resort, with the development of accommodation, promenades, and gardens.

20th Century

  • During both World Wars, Filey played a role in coastal defense, with military installations set up along the coast.
  • After World War II, Filey continued to evolve as a popular holiday destination.

21st Century

  • Filey has seen modern developments in tourism, with an emphasis on preserving its traditional seaside charm.
  • Community events and festivals, such as the Filey Literature Festival, Filey Folk Festival, and others, have become important parts of Filey’s cultural calendar.

Ongoing Developments

  • The town continues to thrive as a tourist destination, known for its scenic beauty, coastal walks, and community events.
  • Conservation efforts aim to protect Filey’s natural environment and historical landmarks.

the beach hut landmark