The Loftus Alum Quarries
This section of the page features an image gallery, so if you're using a screen reader you may wish to jump to the main content.
Today the Loftus Alum Quarry is a peaceful place to get away from it all and enjoy the cliff top views of the coast, but between 1656 and 1863 it was a centre of industrial activity.
At its height this was the most prolific quarry complex on the Yorkshire Coast, producing around 900 tonnes of alum per year. Alum was a valuable product at this time as it was a vital ingredient for the textile and tanning industries. Remains of the industry still survive. The site includes two circular stone cisterns used for storing raw alum liquor.
Today the site is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for the geology exposed by the old alum workings. It is well known for its fossils with two plesiosaurs, an ichthyosaurus and a pterosaur having been uncovered in the past.
The quarry is interesting for wildlife too. Much of the quarry floor has turned to coastal dry heath, an unusual habitat valuable for invertebrates, reptiles and lichens.
Access to the Loftus Alum Quarries is most easily gained by following the Cleveland Way eastwards from Skinningrove. They can be found at Grid Ref: NZ737199