Unusual history of Whitby to be revealed at heritage weekend

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Some of the more unusual and fascinating historical sights of Whitby are to be revealed as part of Whitby Heritage Weekend.

The event is organised by Whitby Civic Society and this year’s line-up is as follows:

Whitby Jet Heritage, Church Street

Sat & Sun, 11am to 4pm.

Unique to Whitby Jet Heritage, original 19th Century workshop, discovered sealed in the attic of a derelict building in Burn’s Yard.

Reconstructed on the present site with addition of other exhibits.

Whitby Pavilion Theatre

Panoramic cafe open.

YHA Whitby Abbey House and Gardens

Sat & Sun 2pm to 5pm

A magnificent Grade I listed mansion set in a spectaculr location on the abbey headland. Restored and converted into a modern youth hostel in a £3.5m project. Abbey House retains many historical features from the 12th to 19th Centuries which are preserved and displayed. Self-guided tours.

Whitby Georgian Walk (guided)

Sun 10.45am to 12.30pm

Tour of Georgian stereets in Whitby – Cliff Street, Flowergate, St Hilda’s Terrace, Bagdale and Baxtergate. One-mile walk lasting 1.5 hours, meet at Captain Cook monument.

Victorian Spa Well House (grade II)

Off Bagdale

Sat & Sun 10am to 4pm.

A local gem and part of a bequest – along with Pannett Partk – from Whitby’s Alderman Pannett for the people of the town.

Cylindrical, brick structure built in the mid-19th Century as a rebuild of an earlier well. Extensive stencilled interior decoration. Unlike Harrogate Spa, waters have become tainted.

Whitby Yards

Sat & Sun, Clarks Yard 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm; Linskill Square 2pm to 5pm.

As featured on BBC’s Secret Britain, rows of 17th and 18th Century cottages, refurbished during Georgian and Victorian periods with gardens or cobbled yard. Residents happy to talk to visitors.

St Hilda’s Parish Church, West Cliff

Sun 2.30pm to 4.30pm

Built in 1884, designed by RJ Johnson of Newcastle. Fabric, furnishings and stained glass of interest. Guided tours.

Unitarian Chapel, Flowergate (lower end)

Sat & Sun, 11am to 4pm

Presbyterian, later Unitarian, chapel on site from mid-18th Century,

Present brick building dates from 1812. Box pews, covered lecturn, gallery and other features.

St Hilda’s RC Church, Brunswick Street

Sat & Sun, 1pm to 4pm

Built in 1867 to reflect 13th Century Gothic, the church boasts notable high altar, statues and stained glass.

Damaged during the Second World War.

Whitby Abbey Lands

Sat 12.30pm with a 1pm start at the YMCA tearoom gardens.

A circular guided tour of the abbey lands lasting around two hours.

An archaeologist and historian will identify historical features and local lore. Sturdy footwear recommended.

St Ninian’s Catholic Church


Sat 11am to 3pm, Sun 11.30am to 3pm

1778 Vernacular building, constructed by the skilled builders, carpenters and workers from the shipbuilding industry at Captain Cook’s time.

Original gallery with box pews, lower level refurbished in Catholic style.

Church of St John the Evangelist, Brunswick Street

Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Built in 1848-50 as a chapel of ease for St Mary’s, later a district church within the parish of Whitby.

A Georgian House

44 Baxtergate, YO21 1BL

Sat 2pm to 5pm

Built in 1747 as one house and later divided into two houses.

Original panelling with built-in cupboards, two Georgian fire surrounds and two Victorian fireplaces.

Resident happy to talk to visitors. No booking required.