The Spittals Filey Brigg – Refuge or Natural feature?

by RB

The Spittals  are on the South side of Filey Brigg. Local Tradition has it that they are a Roman Pier but since the 1920′s a dispute has arisen about whether they are natural or man made. The Spittals is a spectacular structure, it is 600 metres long with only the first third exposed at very low tides. It rises up from the sandy bottom like a massive underwater railway embankment. Whatever it’s origin it is one of the most interesting and important underwater features on the North Sea Coast.



Filey Brigg Spittals Underwater

In 1995 a group of local divers the Filey Brigg Research Group started working on the structure. Over the years hundreds of underwater photographs, measurements and rock samples were taken. A marine surveyor and sub-contractor to the Admiralty took comprehensive soundings which were later geocoded and turned into a chart. Our comprehensive survey has been published and read to the Nautical Archaeological Society. All the work was done under the oversight of a trained Marine and Maritime Archaeologist.

The results show that the likely origin of the structure is man made, possibly in the Medieval period or even in the late 3rd century. 


Spittals view with named structures



Aerial view of Filey Brigg low spring tide




Spittals Ancient Harbour.