The village had an agricultural and fishing economy until the opening of local ironstone workings in 1848 initiated an industrialisation boom. A railway was built by 1865, and iron smelting began in 1874. A jetty on the coast built in 1880 allowed seagoing vessels to carry heavy cargoes from the area. Mining continued until 1958 and primary iron production until the 1970s.
The Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum (formerly the Tom Leonard Mining Museum) describes the village's mining heritage, providing a unique underground experience and an insight into how 6.2 million tons of ironstone was extracted from Skinningrove. The village has a large natural sand beach used for recreational fishing and a beck, which occasionally floods, notably in 2000. It also has the Riverside Building Community Centre which is on the site of a former school. There is a Methodist chapel which has services on a Sunday at 18:00. There is also a fish and chip shop, a community centre and general dealers and post office. Every year Skinningrove hosts a bonfire and fireworks display which attracts hundreds of people from around North Yorkshire. Each year the bonfire is based on a different theme. The Cleveland Way runs through the village.
On 17 February 2003, a rarely seen oarfish was caught by angler Val Fletcher, using a fishing rod baited with squid. The fish was 11 ft 4 in (3.3 m) long and weighed 140 lb (63.5 kg). Graham Hill, the science officer at the Deep, an aquarium in Hull, said that he had never heard of another oarfish being caught off the coast of Britain. The Natural History Museum in London said that it would have been interested in preserving the fish in its permanent collection; however the fish had been 'cut up into steaks' before any scientists could examine it.
- "Skinningrove Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2011.
- "Lingdale in North Yorkshire". This is the North East. Northumbia University. Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Skinningrove at Digital Village". East Cleveland Community Development Group in partnership with the University of Teesside. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
- Jenkins, Russell (21 February 2003). "Woman angler lands legendary sea monster". The Times. London. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
The novice angler fishing off the rocks for mackerel thought that she must have hooked a big one. Unfortunately the oarfish has been cut up into steaks for the pot.
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