Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Marys Church (Whitby)

St. Mary's is the extraordinary parish church of the Yorkshire seaport and seaside resort of Whitby.

Set on the East Cliff, it is reached by the famous 199 steps from the old town below, and shares its headland with the the evocative ruins of Whitby Abbey.

The short tower and battlements stand almost on the edge of the cliff, defiant against the North Sea, which has taken away a considerable amount of cliff top in living memory.

St. Mary's has been added to over the years, and seems to have more pews and galleries than it could possibly cope with. The overall impression is Georgian, but there are parts that are much older, including some Norman fragments.

There is a fine triple decker pulpit, and a large stove, which is clearly needed, given the church's situation.

The churchyard has many memorials to those lost at sea, and on the plain outside is the memorial to the poet Caedmon.

It was this churchyard that Bram Stoker used as a setting for the first appearance of Count Dracula in England.

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