Scartho is a suburb located in the southern part of Grimsby, England, in the county of North East Lincolnshire. with a population of around 11,000. Up until the end of the Second World War it was a village; subsequent post-war expansion on the greenfield areas between Scartho and Grimsby has resulted in the village becoming a suburb. Its population has been boosted due to recent urban developments such as that at Scartho Top. It is pronounced 'Scatha' by many Grimbarians.
Like 'Grimsby' the etymology of the word Scartho can be traced back to having Old Norse origin, more than likely due to the ancestry of the surrounding area. It is believed that the name is a mutation of the words Skarth and haugr meaning 'gap' and 'mound' respectively. Alternatively, but less likely, there is a theory that it comes from the Old Norse skafr and cormorant, roughly translated as 'cormorant mound/hill'.
Although Anglo Saxon in origin, the earliest recorded reference to Scartho was in the Domesday Book in 1086. The Church of 1086, which incorporated Saxon work said to date from 1042, is substantially the same today, although with more recent extensions. The tower was probably completed in the early 11th century. The church is dedicated to Saint Giles.
In the first census of the United Kingdom in 1801 Scartho had 135 inhabitants. The population has grown rapidly ever since.
In 1894 a workhouse and were built at a site on the west-side of Scartho Road to the south of Grimsby. These new buildings were opened on 9 October 1894 by the Right Honourable J Shaw-Le-Fevre. Following the Local Government Act of 1929, the workhouse came under the control of Grimsby Town Council's Public Assistance Committee and was renamed Scartho Road Institution. After the introduction of the National Health Act in 1948 it became a general hospital. For many years it was known as Grimsby District General Hospital. Following the erection of the new Princess of Wales' hospital to the south of the site, a number of the former workhouse buildings have been demolished or stand empty. Others are still used for administrative or ancillary services.
In 1916 13 bombs were dropped on Scartho by a German Zeppelin, but no-one was killed or injured. The site where one bomb fell is now home to a branch of Barclays Bank, an optician, a few shops and a dance school. At the side of the building is a plaque commemorating this event. A monument giving thanks that no-one was hurt can be found at a spot where another bomb fell, in the churchyard of the nearby parish church of St. Giles, itself believed to be nearly a thousand years old. The church itself was badly damaged in the attack.
Scartho was a separate civil parish until 1928. Its northern boundary included part of the area that now forms the Nunsthorpe housing estate. In that year the greater part of the village was absorbed by Grimsby, with a small part being attached to the parish of Waltham.
Before the Second World War building work commenced on what had been Green Belt land. These constructions include properties along Scartho Road and the roads off it, including Cragston Avenue, Limetree Avenue and Sycamore Avenue.
The village saw post-war growth following the then government-policy of local councils building houses to replace those damaged in the war. This led to the development of three estates on green-belt land around the village: Springfield, Fairfield and (on a smaller-scale) the area around Edge Avenue. As part of this growth three schools were created – Springfield First and Middle schools, Fairfield First and Middle schools and Scartho First and Middle schools (in Edge Avenue).
In 1958 the village opened its first public house, the Rose and Crown on Louth Road. The Seven Seas opened in 1962 in Springfield.
In 1960 the local council built a swimming pool at the northernmost tip of the village boundary, next to the Barratts Playing Field. This is known locally as 'Scatha Baths'.
In 1965 a new shopping arcade on Waltham Road was constructed in the area, followed a few years later by a similar development on the junction of Louth Road and Pinfold Lane which housed two banks and several retail premises.
Between 1974 and 1982 the village saw the construction of the town's new hospital, the Grimsby District General Hospital, next to an existing smaller site. It was opened in 1982 by Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales. After her death in 1997 it was renamed the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital. The nearby Scartho Top development began in the mid-1990s.