Oliver’s Mount must be among the few places that can boast a link to one of the Bronte sisters and motorcycling icon Barry Sheene.
Overlooking the southern part of Scarborough, Oliver’s Mount is a large wooded hill that rises up to give a splendid vantage of the seaside town (its best side), as this photograph captures perfectly.
On a sunny day when the sea is as smooth as glass and the light glitters off its surface, you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking out at the Côte d’Azur and not the Côte de Yorkshire.
As well as offering stunning views, Oliver’s Mount is home to an impressive war memorial, the column rising to a little over 75 feet.
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The former name of the hill was Weaponness and its present one may well be derived from the mistaken belief that Oliver Cromwell placed batteries on it during the siege of the town’s castle.
But what of its connection to the famous literary family? Well, in 1840, Anne Bronte wrote about visiting Oliver’s Mount in her poem The Bluebell, which includes these lines:
“That day along a sunny road
All carelessly I strayed,
Between two banks where smiling flowers
Their varied hues displayed.
Before me rose a lofty hill,
Behind me lay the sea, . . .”
Oliver’s Mount is also the only natural road race circuit in England - the undulating 2.43 mile track filled with tight and twisty bends hasn’t changed much since opening in 1946.
Among the famous names to have raced there was motorcycle star Barry Sheene. He made his Scarborough debut in 1970. and rose to the occasion with a record-breaking victory in the 125cc race on his Suzuki.
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He went on to win two 500cc World Championships in 1976 and 1977, but he never forgot Scarborough and competed there many times over the years.
In total, Sheene won 15 races at Oliver’s Mount and following his death in March 2003, the climb from Mere Hairpin to the footbridge on Quarry Hill was named Sheene’s Rise.
Technical details: Nikon D5 camera with a Nikon 24-70mm lens, exposure of 1/320th second @ f8, ISO 50.