Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is a former monastery in Whitby, a historic port town on the North Sea coast of the county of Yorkshire in England.


Whitby Abbey was founded in 657 AD by King Oswiu of Northumbria as a double monastery for men and women and first received the name Streoneshalch. Even under the first abbess of the convent, who later even canonized Hilda, Whitby Abbey was famous for its education, its close relationship with the royal family in Northumbria and as a venue for the Synod of Whitby 664 AD

Hilda was a follower of the Celtic traditions, but led by the Synod of Whitby in their monastery the Roman observance one. After the death of the Abbess of Whitby Abbey 680 the story is 200 years in the dark. 867, the abbey was destroyed during a Danish invasion, the name Streoneshalch disappeared and was replaced by Whitby.

It was not until about 1077 founded Reinfried, who had belonged to invasion army under William the Conqueror, a new Benedictine monastery. Approx. 1220 started the construction work; while the abbey was built further south than the original again. Despite its earlier significance and its architectural splendor but Whitby now plays no special role. During the English Reformation in the 16th century under Henry VIII, the monastery was dissolved and left the building to decay. After 1763 the nave and 1830 the central tower had collapsed, the west facade was destroyed by shellfire German battle cruisers in the First World War. In 1921, the facade, faithfully reconstructed. From the church are still standing, the choir, the transepts, in part, the north aisle of the nave and the aforementioned west facade today.

Public Characters of the monastery Whitby

Cædmon was a monk at Whitby and to have been entrusted with the herding pigs Hilda. His poem Song of Creation is the oldest poem in English. An approximately 6 m high cross in front of the Church of St. Mary in Whitby reminded of him.

The ruin

The ruins that are visible today date mostly from the 13th/14th century. Century, so outweighs even the early-Gothic Early English style (12th - 13th century). However, some windows ( 13th/14th century. ), Others in late gothic Perpendicular style (14th - 16th century) are in the High Gothic Decorated style has been reworked. The building has a total length of 91 meters.