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Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire, UK by AnnDixon
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Whitby Abbey is a ruined Benedictine abbey sited on the East Cliff, 199 steps above Whitby harbour in North Yorkshire on the north-east coast of England.

It was founded in 657 AD by the Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria, Oswy (Oswiu) as Streoneshalh (the historical name of the town Whitby where the abbey is located). He appointed Lady Hilda, abbess of Hartlepool Abbey and niece of Edwin the first Christian king of Northumbria, as founding Abbess. The name Streoneshalh is thought to signify Fort Bay or Tower Bay in reference to a supposed Roman settlement that previously existed on the site. This contention has never been proven though and alternate theories have been proposed, such as the name meaning Streona’s settlement; a reference to Eadric Streona. This is highly unlikely though due to chronological considerations: Streona died in 1017 so the naming of Streoneshalh would have preceded his birth by several hundred years.

The double monastery of Benedictine monks and nuns was also home to the great Saxon poet Caedmon. In 664, the abbey was the site of the Synod of Whitby, at which King Oswiu ruled that the Northumbrian Church would adopt the Roman calculation of Easter and monastic tonsure.

In 867, the abbey fell to Viking attack, and was abandoned.

William de Percy ordered that the abbey be refounded (1078) by Regenfrith (Reinferd) a soldier monk, dedicating it to St. Peter and St. Hilda. Later it became Presteby (meaning the habitation of Priests in Old Norse) then Hwytby; next Whiteby, (meaning the “white settlement” in Old Norse, probably from the colour of the houses) and finally Whitby.

The second monastery lasted until it was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The abbey buildings fell into ruins, and were mined for stone, but remained a prominent landmark for sailors and helped inspire Bram Stoker’s Dracula, The ruins are now owned and maintained by English Heritage.

Tags

derelict, church, england, uk, whitby, n yorkshire

Comments

  • Lyn Evans
    Lyn Evansover 4 years ago

    This is so beautiful Ann….I love the way you caught the reflection in the puddle.

  • Thank you so very much Lyn, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • Svetlana Sewell
    Svetlana Sewellover 4 years ago

    Great capture Ann:)

  • Thank you so very much, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • plsphoto
    plsphotoover 4 years ago

    Very nice! I agree, Great capture!

  • Thank you so very much, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • billfox256
    billfox256over 4 years ago

    A terrific picture and great story with it.!!!! Bill

  • Thank you so very much Bill, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • Barbara Manis
    Barbara Manisover 4 years ago

    Very beautiful, Ann!

  • Thank you so very much Barbara, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 4 years ago

    Grand image, Ann – great reflection, though Dracula wouldn’t have been able to see himself in that pool….

  • Thank you so very much, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • Digitalbcon
    Digitalbconover 4 years ago

    Wow!! Excellent capture Ann!! Great vertical composition with the reflection!! Well done!!

  • Thank you so very much Blair, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • AuntDot
    AuntDotover 4 years ago

    Great image Ann. As if the abbey alone weren’t enough, the reflection in the small pond gives it so much added interest.

  • Thank you so very much, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • sigfusson
    sigfussonover 4 years ago

    Your framing here is fantastic Ann. Perfect composition with the reflection of the ruins in the rainwater pond. Thanks again for al the great history…you’d make for an awesome tour guide! ♥ Cheers, S

  • Thank you so very much Sandra, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, hugs Ann

    – AnnDixon

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 4 years ago

    Gorgeous work Ann, just love the POV, the reflections and the composition…excellent work

  • Thank you so very much Larry, it was quite a nice day, not too much sun, hugs Ann

    – AnnDixon

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