As you walk along from the sands onto Filey Brigg, along the side of the cliff are cut a series of numbers from 10 to 15 . These are cut into the quarried rock (Birdsall Grit) which was removed from this area from Victorian times. There are two explanations for the numbers, one is that they were used to mark out sections when stone was removed in Victorian times. This seems likely as number 15 is carved in an area where the strata of useable stone dives beneath the ground. An alternative explanation which my grandfather told me when I was a young boy is that the numbers refer to sections of the seashore which local fishermen used to store their bags of mussels on the seashore to keep them fresh. At least one local history book provides a similar explanation with the exception that they were meant to delimit areas where fishermen gathered their bait from the seashore.
It is difficult to see how fishermen could possibly have sourced an adequate amount of bait as in limpets (‘flithers’) and mussels given the small areas involved. The most likely explanation is that they were quarry marks, that might possibly have been used for other purposes after the quarry closed . Any number of other explanations are possible including the possibility they were carved on a whim.
There appears to be no number 13 which implies the carver may have been superstitious.
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