brianaw

20 Feb 2012 129 views
 
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photoblog image St.Mary's Church, Whitby 1/7

St.Mary's Church, Whitby 1/7

Last week I showed you a picture of the start of the 199 steps one can climb to the top of the East Cliff at Whitby. When one reaches the top the ruined Abbey is some way ahead but right next to the end of the steps is St.Mary’s Parish Church.

 

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, some of which I am showing during the week.

 

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 tell.

 

St.Mary's Church, Whitby 1/7

Last week I showed you a picture of the start of the 199 steps one can climb to the top of the East Cliff at Whitby. When one reaches the top the ruined Abbey is some way ahead but right next to the end of the steps is St.Mary’s Parish Church.

 

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, some of which I am showing during the week.

 

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 tell.

 

comments (22)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 20 Feb 2012, 00:31
Not a lot of vacant spots in the grassy area, Brian.
Brian Walbey: Well not in this part anyway, there is a very large churchyard off picture to the right.
What a fantastic shot of St Mary's Church Brian... it has a great history behind it....petersmile
Brian Walbey: Thanks peter, I hope you enjoy seeing more of it during the week.
How wonderful - a beautiful building. I loved your whole write up!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Elizabeth.
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 20 Feb 2012, 07:06
Appropriately viewed through the tombstones, Brian, with that kind of history!
Brian Walbey: And also quite unusual inside Ginnie as you will see during the week.
  • Chad Doveton
  • Where latitude and longitude meet.
  • 20 Feb 2012, 07:35
Now that is unusual in design or alteration Brian. It looks as if the building can't make up it's mind what it wants to be.
Brian Walbey: I think all sorts of bits have been added or removed over the years Chad.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 20 Feb 2012, 07:41
I remember finding it to be a charming place Brian
Brian Walbey: It is Chris, and quite unusual inside.
What a charming place Brian. I love the atmosphere!
Brian Walbey: It is Richard and quite unusual inside as you will see during the week.
It looks like it was designed by a committee and has a great deal of charm.
Brian Walbey: I think there has been a lot of additions etc.over the years Bill, but it is an interesting church.
...beast for sure Brian!
Brian Walbey: Thanks Juan.
These gravestones are very well behaved
Brian Walbey: Yes they are Richard but they are also showing their age.
  • lisl
  • England
  • 20 Feb 2012, 08:57
Now this is a Church I would love to visit. Thank you for showing it (I always enjoy your Church pictures, so keep them coming, Brian!)
Brian Walbey: And visit you shall Lisl as I am showing the inside later on in the week and it is quite unusual.
  • Pedroeric
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 Feb 2012, 10:10
Looks a nice little church Brian to explore.
Brian Walbey: It is Pedroeric and quite unusual in some respects.
nice house
Brian Walbey: Well it is actually a church Chantal, and yes, it is a nice, and unusual building.
  • Fred Adams
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 20 Feb 2012, 11:00
Looks a fascinating spot Brian, lots of depth with the gravestones.
Brian Walbey: It is Fred, and a popular church for Whitby visitors.
  • Martin
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 20 Feb 2012, 12:54
What a wonderful looking place Brian! smile
Brian Walbey: It is Martin, well worth a visit.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 20 Feb 2012, 13:39
This is my church - with such a long history, very old stones, modern extensions, old headstones and a wide view on the Northsea -I like your photo very much and your write-up, too! Have you been inside the church? I would like to see through a window on the sea! Did you study the gravestones? I had done!
Brian Walbey: I thought you might like this Philine, so much history to it. Yes I went inside and will be showing that from Wednesday to Sunday.
Fascinating history to accompany this strange looking church, Brian.
Brian Walbey: Yes it is Beverly, and a very popular place for tourists to visit.
An area that has inspired many a ghost story Brian.
Brian Walbey: Yes indeed John, they have regular Ghost walks in Whitby during the season because of the Dracula connection.
It looks like a complete mixture of textures, building materials and styles. Which makes it all the more fascinating. Since you and Maureen didn't climb the steps, you presumably drove the long way round.
Brian Walbey: Yes it is a lot of different bits and pieces Sheila and very unusual inside. I am showing that during the week. Yes we did drive the long way round to be honest.
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 Feb 2012, 21:25
It's interesting to see the blackened weathered tops to the gravestones. That's a very odd canopy to the stairs; most out of character to the fine church building.
Brian Walbey: It really is a mix of bits and pieces isn't it, there is even a skylight on the roof.
Excellent capture, Brian. I walked this very path last year. Your photo is much better than the ones I took!
Brian Walbey: As you know we drove up to the top Neil, perhaps your a tad younger than us. Thanks for your comment, I'm sure your photo was very good.
A certain amount of rather insensitive additions by the looks of it, Brian.
Brian Walbey: Yes all sorts added on over the years Tom.

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