The R.N.L.I Fish – Robin Hood's Bay, England - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited

The R.N.L.I Fish

This coin collecting cod is over 130 years old, and the United Kingdom's smallest listed structure. 


Though this cast iron cod is the smallest listed structure in the United Kingdom at just over a meter tall, the scaly sculpture weighs a whopping 110 kilograms — ten times heavier on average than its natural brethren when caught.

Installed in 1887 to receive donations for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), what is now the charity’s oldest collection box stands upon its tail, overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire. From this spot, centuries of fishing boats cast the village’s maritime heritage, and lifeboats were launched to save the lives of the ill-fated fisherfolk who fell foul to the North Sea.

Though the RNLI no longer operates from the village, The Fish remains in situ catching coins. Some say that even after over 130 years, the fish flaps its tail in response to every coin that is dropped into its mouth. Don’t blink though, for it does this with such speed that no one in its history has ever caught a glimpse.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web