The Romans had a signal station on Carr Naze until about the 4th century. It has been suggested that the beach at Filey was an ideal place for the Anglo-Saxons to land after the Romans departed.
It is thought Filey is an Anglican name, meaning five leys, which means a clearing in a forest or meadow.
But it has been called Fucelac, Fivelei, Phyvelay, Fiflea, Philaw and Filo.
Records indicate that fishing took place in the 12th century, when Filey fishermen were landing fish as far away as Whitby and Grimsby, but fishing probably took place long before records began.
Filey fishermen would harvest fish such as herring from the North Sea. Vessels employed by the Filey fishermen would include cobles and more latterly yawls.
According to the Domesday Book of 1086, Filey was part of the manor of Falsgrave. During the Middle Ages, Filey was a village of considerable size but was a relatively poor community until the 17th century.
The oldest building in the town is now the site of the Filey Museum on Queen Street, built in 1696. Growth took place throughout the 18th century, when the population numbered around 600.
From the 18th century onwards, Filey became larger and more affluent.
Neighbouring Scarborough became popular after the discovery of health giving spa waters in the town's South Bay in the early
1600s, but Filey Spa had been in existence since about the 1670s. Filey Spa consisted of a fresh water spring which has since disappeared due to cliff erosion. The Filey Spa certainly attracted early visitors to the town.
A great sea battle took place between 2324 September 1779 between John Paul Jones and Captain Richard Pearson. Jones was on the side of the American in their War of Independence. Captain Pearson surrendered after many hours of bloody battle.
Visitors came in increasing numbers during the early 1800s. By the late 1820s, the town was providing visitor facilities and
coaches travelling from Hull to Scarborough started calling at Filey from the mid 1820s, stopping at one of the town's first hotels, Foord's Hotel, built in 1824.
In 1835, a Birmingham solicitor John Wilkes Unett purchased seven acres of land and built the Crescent, which latterly became the Royal Crescent. It was opened during the 1850s and for the next century it became one of the most fashionable addresses in the whole of Northern England.
The railway had reached the town between 1846 and 1847, thus opening trade and tourist routes with the rest of the country.
The Seamer to Filey line opened in 1846 and the Filey to Bridlington route opened the following year.
During the Victorian and the Edwardian eras, musicians played in the gardens in Filey and this was carried on well into the
This has recently been revived by the Town Council who invite silver and brass bands to play on a Sunday afternoon.
Butlin's Holiday camp was a great asset to Filey's economy. Construction of the site commenced in 1939 and in 1945 it became
a popular holiday resort. By the 1950s, it had the potential capacity for 10,000 holiday makers but it closed in 1984.