Recently we ventured North for work and on our way home called in on Whitby. This wasn’t without some research, of course for both Dave and I love a photo opportunity or two and our trip certainly provided it. Luckily it also provided a well-timed blog post.
Whitby Abbey was abandoned following Danish raids in 1078 but the Benedictine monk Reinfrid established a new community on the site in 1078. The structure that stands today are all that remain after Henry VIII destroyed religious buildings in his plight to destroy all that stood against his belief in divorce—Whitby was destroyed in 1539 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1545, when all possessions were confiscated by the crown and the building destroyed.
More lies beneath the surface of this place, however for it is one of our most important religious places. The Synod of Whitby was called here by King Oswiu of Northumberland—this was a massive debate that decided once and for all when Easter would be celebrated. This debate was attended by representatives from both sides—Roman and Celtic—Abbess Hilde hosted the meeting. The Roman Catholics won the debate and the English Church still follow their ruling to this day, as to Christians all over the world—so Happy Easter!
Whitby Abbey from across the pond
And as a little bit of fun, according to legend, you can follow the route taken by Dracula as he flees the wreckage of his ship up the cobbled pathway and into the churchyard where his grave is, and beyond into the abbey ruins.
I’ll leave it there for your imagination to run wild.
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