Thursday, 29 August 2013

Whitby 2 - The abbey



Dominating the skyline of Whitby's East Cliff are the parish church of St Mary, the ruins of St Hilda's Abbey and Abbey House, now home to Whitby Youth Hostel.


 The main pedestrian route between the bustling, narrow streets of the town centre and the otherworldliness of the Gothic abbey, is via the long sweeping curve of the one hundred and ninety-nine steps.


The Abbey, once a Benedictine Monestry and home to the English poet Caedmon, is now owned and maintained by English Heritage. There is more information about the Abbey here.


The 1897 Gothic Horror novel Dracula (Bram Stoker) was inspired by the ruins of St Hilda's Abbey and this churchyard of St Mary, part of the reason for the town's choice as location for the twice yearly Goth Weekend which draws huge crowds to the area.

8 comments:

  1. These great photos are really getting me in the mood for our trip to England this September!! Beautiful...

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    1. I hope you have a wonderful time :)

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  2. Beautiful, Beautiful Beautiful photos !
    I wonder if the 199 steps has any meaning ?

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I don't think so - just the distance from bottom to top :)

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  3. What a gorgeous area. The buildings of the town center a bit too crowded for me but it's still lovely. Some of the oldest areas in Portsmouth have houses built with little to no space between them. I'm sure that's the British influence at play since homes built after the 17th century are much further apart.

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    1. Historically, houses in Whitby, and other settlements along the North Yorkshire coast, are squashed into their narrow river valleys. Modern developments have spread to the, more exposed, cliff tops. However, you are right, we do tend to pack our houses much more closely than in the States. I think it has a lot to do with the relative sizes of our lands and our populations! We Brits are dense :p

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  4. I enjoyed this post and the one before - only just now getting caught up after a very busy couple of weeks. One of the high points of my visit to East Yorkshire last year was a trip to Whitby. Your photos took me back. I walked and walked and walked and then had a wonderful meal at the Magpie down along the wharf. What a beautiful town!

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    1. Hi Pondside, I hardly ever blog any more; just the occasional post. Life took over! Three more Whitby posts to come before the next hiatus though.
      I'm delighted that you enjoyed Whitby; it is a very characterful town with lots to see and experience. I love to visit the wharf side stalls where they sell shellfish fresh from the catch!

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