Port Mulgrave

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Port Mulgrave
North Riding
Port Mulgrave - geograph.org.uk - 855834.jpg
Rosedale Lane, Port Mulgrave
Grid reference: NZ794174
Location: 54°32’46"N, 0°46’23"W
Post town: Saltburn-By-The-Sea
Postcode: TS13
Local Government
Scarborough and Whitby

Port Mulgrave is a derelict former ironstone exporting port on the coast of the North Riding of Yorkshire, midway between Staithes and Runswick Bay.

Rows of domestic properties and individual houses exist on the top of the cliff.

Historically the locality was known as Rosedale, but to avoid confusion with the ironstone mines and iron works at Rosedale in the middle of the North York Moors the area was renamed Port Mulgrave for the local landowner the Earl of Mulgrave.[1]


In the 1850s, Sir Charles Palmer opened an ironstone mine at Rosedale Wyke, Port Mulgrave with ironstone loaded onto small vessels from a wooden jetty. The barges were moved in and out using a paddle steamer.

Port Mulgrave Harbour

A nearby harbour was constructed by Sir Charles Palmer in 1856-57 at a cost of £45,000.[1][2][3]

Initially the harbour exported ironstone to Jarrow on the Tyne to supply Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company Limited founded by Sir Charles Palmer.[4]

Later ironstone was sent to blast furnaces by the River Tees.[3]

When the mine at Rosedale Wyke began to run out Sir Charles Palmer established Grinkle ironstone mine three miles to the east near the hamlet of Dalehouse and in 1875 a narrow-gauge railway line was built to the mine.[2][5][6] The ironstone wagons from Grinkle Mine were taken over bridges then through a tunnel under Ridge Lane[7] down a mile-long inclined tunnel on a cable railway powered by a stationary engine|stationary steam engine situated by the east pier[3][5] then emerging in the cliff side 30 ft above sea level. The railway wagons were then led onto a gantry with bunkers on the east harbour wall ready for loading the ironstone directly into ships in the harbour.

Bricked up tunnel entrance at the harbour  
Abandoned (1916) tramway tunnel to Grinkle Mine under Ridge Lane  
Abandoned (1916) tramway tunnel  

The tunnel entrance at the harbour can still be seen but it is sealed up.[8] In 1911 the pier gantry and boiler house were damaged by a serious fire however, the damage was repaired.[3] In 1916 Grinkle Mine was connected to the Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway thus avoiding the wartime hazards of shipping and the tramway tunnel abandoned.[1]

Port Mulgrave was a busy port for 40 years but the harbour was redundant by 1920 due to the railway link and cheaper foreign sources of ironstone becoming available.[2] After falling into disuse the harbour was left to decay. In 1934 Grinkle Mine was abandoned,[3] then the harbour machinery was sold off as scrap and the gantry accidentally destroyed by a fire.[1]

The west harbour breakwater wall was deliberately destroyed by the Royal Engineers to prevent its use as part of any German invasion during Second World War.[1][9]


Some inshore fishing using cobles takes place from the harbour.[1] Fishing cabins made from [flotsam and found materials can be seen by the cliffs next to the harbour.

Cliffs and foreshore at Port Mulgrave looking north  
Cliffs at Port Mulgrave looking south east  
Fisherman's hut  
East harbour wall and wooden ladder  

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Port Mulgrave)