The Ruins of Whitby Abbey

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (1)

Following our Fish and Chips at the Magpie Cafe in Whitby, we decided to visit the famous ruins of Whitby Abbey. Unfortunately, we arrived at 6pm, just as public access to the abbey was closing for the day.  Given my love of castles, churches, history and ruins, it is safe to say that I was Very Disappointed.

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (2)

Still, being the fearless and intrepid girl that I am, I managed to climb up a bank to get some photos of the abbey from the south.  This is such a stunning ruin and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I will be back to see it again one day.  

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (3)

I wonder what work is being done to preserve the ruin from further eroding?  Not even mountains are safe from the ravages of time, sea salt and weathering.

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (4)

This was the closest I came to the ruin.  I was on the other side of a wall when I had wanted to stand inside of it! 

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (5)

There is an almost surreal air to the abbey and the atmosphere is powerful.  I guess the word I’m looking for is “epic”.  It is an absolutely majestic structure and proud despite crumbling down.  It is hard to explain why but Whitby Abbey had a much greater effect on me than Stonehenge but it seemed to be so much more important and historic.  Perhaps I was still under the spell of the sea fret?

The Ruins of Whitby Abbey (6)

Some of you might know that I hold a national certificate in health and safety.  Let’s just agree that me balancing on top of a fence on my tip toes while I took this photo (supported only by my similarly qualified husband), was the epitome of recklessness, negligence and unsafe practice.  Still, I escaped unharmed and was pretty happy with the result. 

33 comments on "The Ruins of Whitby Abbey"
  1. I'll be sure to arrive early when I go

  2. may have said this before but Whitby is cool - this abbey was actually bombed by a German battleship in World War One I believe.

  3. The ruins are really impressive, I can imagine that powerful atmosphere.

  4. Oh, what a wonderful place and ruins. I would love to visit this place.
    Good thing you had climbed:-)

  5. Whitby Abbey looks like a fantastic place to wander around in. You should have waited until it got dark then jumped over the wall...

  6. Fantastic photos, what a shame you arrived too late to visit. The first time I saw the abbey was late at night by the light of the moon :-) Did you drive up to the abbey or climb the steps?

  7. I'd SWEAR I've seen these ruins in a movie or TV show. Any ideas?

  8. BTW, I've Blog tagged you if you want to play.

  9. AWesome...magnificent..and SO beautiful..this is my kind of for risking your pretty head for us all..such daring shots..wickedly of my fave posts now!( there are so many!but this one steals my heart and calls out at my soul) Thankyou Emm..

  10. I featured Whitby several month ago on Ancient Digger. I was just as awe struck as you were. I'm not sure why and all I had to go on were photographs.

  11. Emm great place to visit and I thought your efforts with the pics are very good considering ;-)

    I must admit to being a Whitby fan in fact I like the coastal region up there, much nicer than further south.

  12. They don't let you in eh? Part of preservation strategy I suppose...! :-)

  13. Oh, I'm sorry you didn't get to stand inside, but you got some amazing photos! And I am still so envious!!!!!

  14. Stunning! Even though it was closed, I think you arrived at the perfect time for pictures!

  15. What a great place! I hope I get to see it in person one day.
    Look on the bright side - you got there just in time to catch perfect lighting for taking great photos. I must say they turned out excellent.

  16. wow! intriguing!!! you just made one travelholic feel like going there now!

  17. This is truly amazing!

    I went to Netley Abbey today.
    It was also great.

  18. Beautiful pictures Emm! We dont have a date set to move to London yet...still looking for jobs. My husband is a computer engineer so we're looking at jobs in that field. I'll keep you posted! Until then, I'll just have to live through your blog. :)

  19. You always dine so well. :-)I would love to be here one day. Those are fabulous photos.
    Yes, Amanda I am. Only very close loves call me M. ;-)

    Come & Play: Thursday Two Questions

  20. I confess that I would prefer these ruins over Stonehenge too. I don't know whether it's because Stonehenge doesn't give the impression of real people being involved. I even preferred the standing stones in Carnac over Stonehenge.

    It would be wonderful to go back and be inside the abbey but I must say that I don't think your photos could be bettered. They are superb!

    Just as a PS, I've noticed that the V & A has an exhibition at the moment "Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography", Tue 12 April 2011 - Sun 17 July 2011. I thought that could interest you.

  21. too bad it was closed when you arrived but you've some great shots here Emm. i'm a big fan of ruins too and i could have spent hours wandering around taking pictures. the inside of the ruins must be equally impressive.

  22. I can only imagine what it looked like in the days of it's glory.

    Glad you got some shots of it.

  23. I would love to poke around Whitby Abbey for the day. I too love history.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  24. Thank you for risking life and limb for those photos! What an awesome place. I hope you had a chance for a closer look when it reopened.

  25. The photos are awesome! Ideal place to go to and capture great subjects!

    Deej is dropping by.

  26. Nice shots of the Abbey. We all do something reckless once in awhile, and usually get away with it. I'm glad you did too.

  27. Wonderful photos of Whitby Abbey. I'm really sorry that I didn't go to see it during my time living in London. Oh well, I guess it gives me an excuse to travel back to England in the future!

  28. Pfft health and safety. Unfortunately there are countless castles and abbeys all over the UK that have fallen into ruin, let's admire them while we still can.

  29. I'm really good at being just a bit too late for the last entry to stuff like this. Anyway, I managed to drive right through Whitby years ago without even realising there was an abbey to look at! Scarborough was waiting (!?).

  30. @ Pierre: Thank you!

    @ Mo: Aaaah, just don't go at closing time!

    @ David: It is cool and I don't think we can ever stress that enough!If I understand correctly, the abbey was already in ruins following the Dissolutions of the Monasteries in 1539 but was indeed heavily bombarded by two German battle cruisers on December 16, 1914.

    @ Joesep: They are impressive indeed!

    @ Spiderdama: I love places like this which is why I always enjoy travelling around UK. It is full of ruins.

    @ William: Are you crazy?? You know I believe in ghosts, right!

    @ Sy: Thank you!

    @ John: We drove up in my friend's car because they never would have driven up. It wasn't thier first priority either otherwise we could have driven around to the other side to try capture photos. I have a December road trip brewing and may go back there.

    @ Li: They have most likely featured in many films but I can't think of any specifically!

    @ Victoria: Hee hee. Thank you! I do what I can to produce the most daring and interesting posts!

    @ Lauren: Yeah, it is a magical, magical place.

    @ Mike: I'm not a fan of English beaches (why would I be when I've stood on South African ones?) but it is truly beautiful up there. And thank you for your compliment on the photos..

    @ Ash: They do let you in!! I just got there too late.

    @ JaPRA: GO VISIT WHITBY. You won't regret it.

    @ Jessica: yeah, the lighting was lovely.

    @ Travel Photo Blogging: Thank you!! I hope you get to see it one day too.

    @ Lily: Well, I would certainly recommend it.

    @ London Calling: Oh wow, I'll have to visit there too one day.

    @ Carol: Thank you! Yes, getting jobs before landing is a Good Idea.

    @ Self Sagacity: I suppose I do for someone who doesn't really like food!

    @ Sheila: Thank you so much. :) I will certainly look up that exhibition. Are you going??

    @ Life Ramblings: I totally agree!

    @ Jamerican Spice: It must have cut an imposing figure in its former glory!!

    @ AVCr8teur: Not yet, but I'd like to go back there and am thinking of visiting in December.

    @ Deej: Thank you!

    @ Clueless in Boston: Heh. I guess so.

    @ Little Gothic Horrors: Always a good idea to come back to England!

    @ Ryan: I intend to! My next castle is in a few weeks!

    @ Wendy: Oh no!! Did you like Scarborough? I thought there was a nice side to it and then a horrible side.


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