We knew little of the town of Whitby except for the Captain James Cook link and the large Whalebone Archway near his Statue. To be honest I think we only knew about these monuments because of the TV series ‘Heartbeat’. We were in Whitby back in 1998 because Yvette and I were Heartbeat fans and planned to go to the filming site of Goathland. (Aidensfield) We knew nothing of the amazing Abbey ruins or the picturesque old town.
What a surprise we were in for. We took heaps of photos as we wandered around the narrow roads and lane-ways and we laughed every time we saw Seagulls calling down the chimney pots. We seemed to be drawn to the Abbey and climbed the 199 steps a number of times.
These magnificent ruins sit on the headland protruding into the North Sea above the old town. To me the Abbey is a symbol of defiance, determination and God’s protection. The original Abbey was attacked by the Danes in around 865 and no expense was spared when it was rebuilt a couple of hundred years later. The new Abbey was practically destroyed by the henchmen of Henry V111 and then in 1914 it was shelled by the Germans who were aiming for the signal post at the end of the headland.
I saw a picture the other day which was almost a duplicate of the one taken from Yvette’s bedroom window and memories came rushing back. One could almost feel a tangible sense of peace wandering through the Abbeys tranquil ruins. It has stood not only the tests of time but the onslaught of the enemy and come through in splendour. The words of Job the prophet, who was beset by horrendous disasters, come to mind. “But he knows the way I take and when He has tested me I will come forth as Gold.” Job 23:10 NIV
The Abbey on the skyline from Yvette’s window.
The Abbey was and still is a massive structure