Set on a headland high over the popular seaside town,
St. Mary’s is a delightful hodge-podge of many eras. The oldest parts, primarily the tower and basic structure, are Norman and date from around 1110.
The church has never been entirely stripped or rebuilt, but various extensions, modifications and furnishings were added over the centuries. The interior is mostly 18th-century and contains one of the most complete sets of pre-Victorian furnishings in England.
From 1890 to 1896, Whitby was the home of Bram Stoker, who set an important scene in Dracula (1897) at the church:
For a moment or two I could see nothing, as the shadow of a cloud obscured St. Mary’s Church. Then as the cloud passed I could see the ruins of the Abbey coming into view; and as the edge of a narrow band of light as sharp as a sword-cut moved along, the church and churchyard became gradually visible… It seemed to me as though something dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not