42 Amazing Photos Showing Life in Whitby, England during the Late Victorian Era

Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire, England. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, Whitby has a maritime, mineral and tourist heritage. Its East Cliff is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, where Cædmon, the earliest recognised English poet, lived. The fishing port emerged during the Middle Ages, supporting important herring and whaling fleets, and was where Captain Cook learned seamanship. Tourism started in Whitby during the Georgian period and developed with the arrival of the railway in 1839. Its attraction as a tourist destination is enhanced by the proximity of the high ground of the North York Moors national park and the heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula. Jet and alum were mined locally, and Whitby jet, which was mined by the Romans and Victorians, became fashionable during the 19th century.

The earliest record of a permanent settlement is in 656, when as Streanæshealh it was the place where Oswy, the Christian king of Northumbria, founded the first abbey, under the abbess Hilda. The Synod of Whitby was held there in 664. In 867, the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders. Another monastery was founded in 1078. It was in this period that the town gained its current name, Whitby (from “white settlement” in Old Norse). In the following centuries Whitby functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, the trade in locally mined alum, and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.

The abbey ruin at the top of the East Cliff is the town’s oldest and most prominent landmark. Other significant features include the swing bridge, which crosses the River Esk and the harbour, which is sheltered by the grade II listed East and West piers. The town’s maritime heritage is commemorated by statues of Captain Cook and William Scoresby, as well as the whalebone arch that sits at the top of the West Cliff. The town also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula.

While Whitby’s cultural and historical heritage contribute to the local economy, the town does suffer from the economic constraints of its remote location, ongoing changes in the fishing industry, relatively underdeveloped transport infrastructure, and limitations on available land and property. As a result, tourism and some forms of fishing remain the mainstay of its economy. It is the closest port to a proposed wind farm development in the North Sea, 47 miles (76 km) from York and 22 miles (35 km) from Middlesbrough. There are transport links to the rest of North Yorkshire and North East England, primarily through national rail links to Middlesbrough and road links to Teesside, via both the A171 and A174, and Scarborough by the former. As at 2011, the town had a population of 13,213.

Fish stall, Whitby
Fishermen on wharf
Fishman
House by river banks in Whitby.
House by river banks in Whitby
Landscape
Marine Hotel at the seaside
Marine Hotel
Men at ease in Whitby
Mending the nets
Milking time
People in work at a farm
Port with small boats
Portrait of three happy boys
Portrait of three people outside a house
Sheep grazing in the middle
The fish pier
The harbor of Whitby with sailboats
The harbor of Whitby with sailboats
The ingathering
The question
The river in Whitby
The Strom family of Robin Hood’s Bay
Trees and river
Two horses and a rider on a beach
View of the Marina Hotel
Village with a pile of wood in front
West Cliff, Whitby
Whitby from St Mary’s Parish Church
Whitby, Yorkshire
Whitby
Whitby
Whitby
Woman reading
Yorkshire Coast, Whitby
A conversation
A group of boys bathing from a rowing boat
A group of fishing girls in the stairs down to the beach, Whitby
A quiet gossip
At the field
Dinner time
Dock End, Whitby

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: