Filey villa was retreat for rich and famous

THESE pictures of Ravine Villa provide a rare glimpse of how the rich and famous lived when they came to Filey in times past.

The rather grand Victorian home was built on the grounds laid out in about 1838 by brewer Henry Bentley of Bentley Yorkshire Beers at what is now Glen Gardens.

According to archivist Eric Pinder, the villa was demolished by Filey Urban District Council in the early 1970s and replaced by the present-day cafe and toilets next to the boating lake.

Included on the Ravine Villa estate was the White Lodge – now the hotel of the same name – which the famous actress Madge Kendal (1848-1935) and her husband owned for many years, using it as a holiday residence.

Born Margaret Shafto Robertson, Dame Madge, as she became, was an English actress best known for her roles in Shakespeare and English comedies.

Together with her husband, she became an important theatre manager and the couple spent most of their time in London, using the White Lodge in Filey as a summer retreat.

The Madge Kendal window in the library of Ravine Villa recognised the Kendals' achievements, depicting some of the famous Shakespearean characters she played or acted alongside.

Mr Pinder said the actress was well known in the town – hence the tribute from her wealthy neighbours.

When the villa was demolished, the window was transplanted to the Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough and probably lost in the infamous landslip.