Fodor's Expert Review Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Whitby Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Whitby's landmark church overlooks the town from the top of East Cliff, with the striking ruins of Whitby Abbey looming beyond. Bram Stoker lived in Whitby briefly and later said the image of pallbearers carrying coffins up the 199 stone steps that lead to the church inspired him to write Dracula. The oldest parts of St. Mary's (the quire and nave) are Norman, dating back to 1100, while the tower and transepts were added in the 12th and 13th centuries. The distinctive interior, notable for its enclosed box pews and triple-decker pulpit, is late-18th-century Georgian and most everything else you see today is the result of 19th- and 20th-century renovations. The churchyard, a setting in Dracula, is filled with the weather-beaten gravestones of former mariners and fishermen. Rather than walking, you can drive to the hilltop and park in the abbey's lot for a small fee. Otherwise, you can take the hourly Esk Valley Bus 97.

Religious Building/Site/Shrine Views Free

Quick Facts

Abbey Plain
Whitby, North Yorkshire  YO22 4JR, England


Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free; £1 suggested donation

What’s Nearby