Sunday 18 July 2010

Whitby abbey

Founded in 687 AD by Oswy as Streanshalh (King of Northumbria) Whitby Abbey was a double monestary of monks and nuns. In 664 AD, the Abbey hosted the Synod which brought reconciliation between the Celtic church and Rome, but in 867 it was attacked by Vikings and lay empty until refounded in Norman times.

Not surprisingly, Henry VIII was the final straw with his policy of dissolving monestaries and in 1540, it was destroyed.

The remnants are preserved by English Heritage and the site can still be visited. It makes a dramatic sight standing proudly atop the East Cliff, high above the town. Bram Stoker certainly thought so, because it was after watching the carrying of a coffin up the 199 steps to the Abbey that he had the idea for writing his most famous novel, Dracula.


  1. This is hauntingly beautiful. No wonder Bram Stoker was so inpsired.

  2. A perfect read for Sunday! So much history and a DOUBLE monastery! I try to publish something spiritual/religious every Sunday. Wish we had something with that much history. But then, I'm on this side of the Atlantic...............

    Read your header. Had a dream last night that I took lots of print shots and they were duds. I remember those days!

  3. No abbeys over here - a small monastery in a modern house in town, and a community of Poor Clares in another modern setting up-island.
    Beautiful shot - and I always like to see a picture of an historic site with people included somewhere - gives context.

  4. I just love your posts. This one felt like a tiny little vacation in the middle of my day. Someday I'll take a vacation and really see these beautiful places you share!

  5. What a beautiful old ruin. Thanks for taking us on this photo tour around your part of the world. LOVe it!