Scarborough, town (1991 pop. 36,665) and district, North Yorkshire, NE England, on the North Sea. The town, primarily a resort, is also an important conference and retirement center. The area was recognized at an early time for its strategic location. Vestiges of a 4th-century Roman signaling station and a 12th-century castle remain. The ancient Church of St. Mary rests on the site of a Cistercian priory.