Anyone who is unfamiliar with the history of Skinningrove may be confused by the cliffs that tower over Cattersty beach. The horizontally bedded Jurassic cliffs of the coast have been replaced by what appears to be the remnants of ancient lava flows.
The origin of the cliffs are not Volcanic, I guess they could be called Vulcanic. There was once a large iron works on the clifftop, slag from the blast furnaces would be tipped, by trains, over the cliff edge completely covering the existing strata. The blast furnaces have long gone, the cliffs are home to nesting fulmars and the occasional peregrine falcon.
Vulcan – God of Fire, Volcanoes and Metalworkers
Skinningrove, a little creek formed by the Liverton Beck, has gained a weird picturesqueness by its ironworks on the verge of the cliff and its mountains of spoil from an iron mine. The Cleveland ironstone is used in conjunction with imported ironstone and if access can be obtained to the dressing-sheds – where the Cleveland ore is picked over by boys for the elimination of unprofitable stone – characteristic fossils, particularly the ammonite Amaltheus spinatus, can be obtained.
Geology of Yorkshire. PF Kendall & HE Wroot. 1924
The train from Boulby potash mine skirts the edge of Warsett Hill passing the fan house that used to ventilate the ironstone mine. Mining has existed in North Yorkshire for almost a thousand years, steel tracks for railways are still made at Skinningrove.
Tragically, two young local men were recently found dead at the foot of the cliffs at Saltburn.