Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is one of the finest scenes Whitby has to offer

Whitby Abbey is the remains of a Benedictine abbey, by the side of North Sea located on a cliff above Whitby in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The abbey offers a beautiful contrast of the rough and elegant remains of an awe inspiring redish brown brick building standing tall on the grass, against the blue sky behind it. Whitby Abbey is one of the finest scenes Whitby has to offer, and this one comes with an interesting history as well.

Whitby Abbey was supposedly a Roman settlement that existed before it became a monastery, as the first monastery was founded in 657 AD, years after the Roman’s time, by the Anglo-Saxon king, Oswiu. The abbey was home to the great poet Caedmon. The monastery was demolished between 867 and 870 in a series of battles by the Vikings, and was rebuilt by William the Conqueror (William de Percy) who helped rebuild the monastery by donating a piece of land and dedicated the monastery to St Hilda & St Peter in 1066.

The monastery stood strong for  a little less than 500 more years, before it was demolished by Henry VIII. Even though the building fell into ruins, it did not lose much of its majestic appearance, and continued to serve Whitby as a significant landmark. It is said that the writer, Bram Stoker, was inspired by this building, and it helped him create what he describes as his famous character’s, Dracula’s, castle. Today, the Whitby Abbey remains as one of the most picturesque and well known tourist attractions and scenes in Whitby.

Visiting Information

Click here for more information on Whitby Abbey from English Heritage

Open Daily 10am – 6pm

See full prices and opening times

Address: Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4JT

Other than Whitby Abbey, Whitby has many other historical and interesting modern structures that are noteworthy. Whitby Railway Station, St Mary’s Church, Old Town Hall and the Whalebone Arch (and that is exactly what it sounds like), are a few of these examples.

This beautiful town has been home to many authors, inspiring their work, and offering them the peace they need to write. Caedmon, a well-known Anglo-Saxon poet, Stoker (the author of the well-known novel Dracula), Charles Dickens (the author of many famous novels such as David Copperfield, and Great Expectations), and even the American writer James Russel Lowell are known to have lived in or visited Whitby at one point or another.  What better proof of Whitby’s beauty than Lowell’s quote: “This my ninth year at Whitby, and the place loses none of its charm for me.”

About the Author

Thomas Paylor
Hello everyone and welcome to The Whitby Guide. I'm part of a local Whitby family and love sharing great content that helps promote the town. Your comments are welcome, please share this page with your friends and help spread the Whitby love. If you want to contribute to The Whitby Guide, then please get in touch here

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