The once haven town, Skegness was erected on a raised promontory with a timber trading harbor and other material. The name is similar to the ones in the nearby locality. It is related to the Danes, Skeggis ness or headland which was one of the locations where the Vikings had landed in the 9 century.
In 1526, a storm tide broke up the haven port and washed it away. Thanks to the isolation, the village’s population was still under 400 by the 1850s– some working as fishermen, and the rest as farmers, working some of the country’s most fertile soil. Nearby gentry made a practice of taking trips there to go bathing during the summer, but Skegness did not become a genuinely popular tourist destination until the railway reached it in 1873. Its new easy accessibility began to draw large numbers of working-class visitors on day trips, even though its tourist industry consisted of only a few hotels and refreshment rooms and the beach itself.
The Earl of Scarbrough, who lived in Yorkshire, owned most of the land and foreseeing that the seaside is going to be extremely popular in future, he entrusted an architect to plan a model watering place, a name given by the Victorians, on that site where the village existed. Work started in the latter half of 1870’s on construction of wide, tree lined streets walkways and gardens, a park and a wharf and also a net street for shopping, a church and a number of new homes.
At the beginning of the century, with many from Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and other areas taking up residence to set up businesses, the Skegness population had gone up to well over two thousand. As predicted by the Earl, this new seaside Town had grown steadily all through the Edwardian years bringing ever increasing visitors year after year and the earl sold the complete seashore to the Skegness District Council, soon after the Great War ended, for a very fair value. For twenty years following that and between the World Wars, the currently seen basic facilities were laid by the local authorities where there were only sands and dunes earlier. The basic facilities included rose gardens, walkways, boating lake, bathing pool, waterway, amusement park, bowling arenas, tennis courts, the Embassy Centre, etc., and the same period also saw growth of new hotels, entertainment centers and shops.
The Town suffered heavy bombing during the war years, as well as occupation by the armed forces, and there was much repair and refurbishing to concentrate on in the late 1940s, as well as extra housing for the newly returned servicemen and others. Then an industrial estate was laid out to attract all year round jobs and an improved road system to facilitate the movement of the ever increasing volume of motor traffic. The 1950s indeed saw the age of the motor car really arrived and visitors flocked to the coast under their own power instead of on the trains and new car parking space had to be provided, near the sea, as well as a wider choice of accommodation. Caravan camps were popular in Skegness in the 1920s and 30s but after the war they expanded on a huge scale to make this the most popular caravan coast in the country. Hotels and guesthouses were upgraded to meet higher standards and Butlins Skegness Holiday Centre was also modernised at considerable expense.
Skegness got off lightly in the great East Coast Flood of 1953, but the sea defenses were then strengthened and new promenades built on the sea walls. In 1978 another great storm almost destroyed the pier, but what remains has recently been repaired and improved. As the new century gets under way, in spite of the rush to the sun, Skeggy, on the drier side of Britain, is still a regular point of call for thousands of people from the East Midlands and elsewhere. With its fine sand beach, flying the blue flag of excellence, it is a paradise for children and there is a wide choice of activities for all other ages.