The major cliff failure that destroyed Scarborough's Holbeck Hall Hotel in June 1993 is thought to have been caused by a build up of water pressure in gravel and silty sand lenses within the glacial clay cliffs.
More than 60m of the 70m high cliff was lost in one night, leaving the hotel in a precarious position. A further 35m was lost over the next three days, causing the hotel to collapse into the sea. The landslide, a classic rotational failure, also overwhelmed coastal defences, burying them below a large debris lobe that extended 100m across the rocky shore platform.
After prolonged litigation, in 1997 the collapse was blamed on poor maintenance of the slope by Scarborough Borough Council.