Whitby's history is amazing! The earliest known settlement was in 656 when the Christian king of Northumbria founded the first abbey. In 867 the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders and another monastery was founded in 1078. It was during this period when the town got its name Whitby, meaning "white settlement" in Old Norse. The town functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, trade in locally mined alum, and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery. See my post on jet jewelry here.
Whitby Abbey is the town's oldest and most well-known landmark. Whitby also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker's "Dracula." There's a fascinating article about Dracula's birthplace in Whitby right here, well worth reading!
The actual town of Whitby has an "old" side and a "new" side so after we had seen Whitby Abbey and the Abbey House plus St. Mary's Church high on the hillside, we wandered down to the older area of town. As someone who has lived in or near Whitby all her life, Jill knew all the little nooks and crannies. Suddenly, she said "Come with me!" And we crept down the narrowest alleyway I'd ever seen and at the other end was a spectacular sight. We saw private gardens, little shops, artwork and crafts and sights that the other tourists would never see! We went to the Jet Museum, but just as we were going to leave, a rain cloud dumped its load. As tourists scattered, we crossed over to Marie Antoinette's tea house where we had hot chocolate and carrot cake beneath the most beautiful chandelier. All I could think as we sat there was "Let them eat cake!"
When the rain finally stopped, we crossed the bridge into the newer side of Whitby and went into a modern grocery store to pick up a few supplies. Then we headed back home to her village of Grosmont on the bus. What a ride that was! Bumpity bump along the winding roadway up the hills and down until we arrived home. What a wonderful day!
waiting for you to view, should you wish to do so. The music is the theme to the movie "Black Beauty," very subtle as you view my photos. Enjoy!