Whitby Abbey, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Whitby Abbey,  Whitby, North Yorkshire
Photograph taken 1896 - 1920 © Reproduced by permission of Historic England Archive ref: BB98/02515

A view of the Abbey from the east. The first monastery here was founded in AD 657 by King Oswy of Northumbria. In 1078 the abbey was re-established by Reinfrid, one of William the Conqueror’s knights who had become a monk. It was a Benedictine Abbey. The present ruined buildings were begun in about 1220 in the Early English style of Gothic. The abbey was dissolved on 14 December 1539 when there were twenty two monks and domestic staff in residence. The abbey church was left intact at the Dissolution and was almost complete as late as 1711 but is now in ruins. Later the Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey were to inspire Bram Stoker in writing the prototype horror story 'Dracula'. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).