Whitby Abbey | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Whitby Abbey

Scarborough, England, United Kingdom

About Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is a picturesque cliff-top ruin of the 13th century church of a Benedictine abbey in Yorkshire.

An Anglo-Saxon monastery was actually first founded here by Northumbria’s King Oswy in 657AD, but nothing remains of this now. Instead, the jagged walls and arches that stand here are what are left of a later gothic church, part of an abbey begun in 1220 by the Normans.

Whitby Abbey has several claims to fame, although mostly from its first incarnation. The site has been the residence of Caedmon the cowherd as well as a royal final resting place. What’s more, Dracula author Bram Stoker used the site as inspiration for his dark novel.

Over time, Whitby Abbey has suffered from a series of destructive elements, having been ravaged by invaders, dissolved by Henry VIII and pummelled by wartime bombs.

Today, Whitby Abbey is open to the public under the remit of English Heritage. There is also a modern visitor centre which tells the story of Whitby Abbey as well as having exhibitions of finds from the site, including from the 7th century abbey.