Sunday, 1 September 2013

The perfect Setting for a Gothic Novel

Whitby Abbey

A couple of weeks ago we once again went to Whitby for a lovely day out. We spent the morning exploring the town and walking along the pier.

Whitby

Whitby

Whitby

Then in the afternoon we went up the hill and to the abbey.

Whitby and its abbey have a strong connection with Dracula, as it is believed that it was here where Bram Stoker found his inspiration for the novel and he's even mentioned it in the novel.

Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Christopher Lee as Dracula in 1958
Christopher Lee as Dracula in 1958
In chapter 6 of Dracula Bram Stoker gives a description of Whitby, recorded by Mina in her diary: 
"This is a lovely place. The little river, the Esk, runs through a deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbour … The houses of the old town – the side away from us – are all red-roofed, and seem piled up one over the other anyhow, like the pictures we see of Nuremberg. Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which was sacked by the Danes and which is a scene of part of ‘Marmion’, where the girl is built up in the wall. It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits; there is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows. Between it and the town there is another church, the parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones. This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town, and has a full view of the harbour and all up the bay, to where the headland called Kettleness stretches out into the sea"

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Just outside the walls of the abbey is St. Mary's church and its ancient graveyard, which dates back to 1110 AD.

Whitby Abbey & St. Mary's cemetery

Whitby Abbey & St. Mary's cemetery

Whitby Abbey & St. Mary's cemetery

Whitby Abbey & St. Mary's cemetery

For a less spooky and nightmarish end to our day we stopped in Scarborough for a picnic and a walk around the harbour and promenade.

Scarborough

Scarborough