The blooming of Baxtergate

Gems such as this scene of Falkingbridge wine merchants, Temperance Hall and Belle Hotel on Baxtergate will be on show at the exhibition
Gems such as this scene of Falkingbridge wine merchants, Temperance Hall and Belle Hotel on Baxtergate will be on show at the exhibition

AFTER six months of in-depth investigation into the history of Baxtergate, a time-travelling team of detectives is set to exhibit their findings.

A statement originating from a survey undertaken in 1958 and funded by the Marquis of Normanby stated: “Nature has dealt Whitby a very distinct hand.

“Its geography is particularly favourable for the display of its diversity of features inherent in the picture of historic towns.”

Fifty years later, teams consisting of members from Whitby Town Council, Whitby Civic Society and the Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society have been co-operating in the Whitby Heritage Review Project based at the Coliseum Centre in Victoria Place.

Securing funding from English Heritage, the team elected to carry out their research in Baxtergate and the areas of Wellington Road, New Quay Road, Victoria Place and the many yards.

Whitby Town councillor Walter Jones has spearheaded the investigation and said: “The choice of Baxtergate has been of particular importance in a number of respects.

“It has been one of the most accessible of the three approaches to the Swing Bridge, originally linking the road from York across the Esk at Whitby by the most level route.

“A study of the trades directories from the 1800s show the rich diversity of occupations and professions by which many of the population’s immediate needs were met and the street progressed steadily in its important role as the administrative centre of the town.”

Fieldwork undertaken by the groups included investigations relating to the ages and uses of properties, materials used in construction and recording of particular architectural features.

A case duty was also completed relating to the Angel Inn on New Quay Road.

If you would like to learn more about the project or are curious about the history of the Baxtergate area, the project exhibition will take place at the James Cook Theatre at the Coliseum.

Members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions or to discuss any memories or recollections of the area.

The exhibition will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday next week (17-18 Jan), from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free.