"St. Mary's Church" Whitby Things to Do Tip by yooperprof

Whitby Things to Do: 194 reviews and 370 photos

  a mighty fortress?
by yooperprof
  • a mighty fortress? - Whitby
      a mighty fortress?
    by yooperprof
  • it looks like the end of the earth - and it is! - Whitby
      it looks like the end of the earth - and it is!
    by yooperprof
  • very conducive to melancholy - if you so choose! - Whitby
      very conducive to melancholy - if you so choose!
    by yooperprof
  • St. Mary's Church - Whitby

St. Mary's Church is a highlight of Whitby, and it is well-worth the climb - all 199 steps - from the top just to enjoy the fantastic views over the town and over the North Sea. But the church itself is a remarkable survivor, with sections from just about every period of English architectural history all blending together to create a congruent whole.

Simon Jenkins, in "England's Thousand Best Churches," gives St. Mary's a rare four stars. "The short tower, dark stone walls and battlements stand defiant against the North Sea. Yet the friendly windows seem eager to warm the souls within. This is a big-hearted church. It has never been rebuilt or stripped and each generation has been greeted with another pew, gallery or extension until the place seems to burst at every seam. The result could be treated as part folly, part museum, part large parlour. The church contains on of the most complete sets of pre-Victorian furnishings in England."

The pews are the old old box kind - the only other place I've seen pews like this is in New England, in the US. The boxes are so "tall" that they completely prevent the congregants from seeing one another - no flirting at this church! Only the preacher, in his triple-decker pulpit above you, looks down like God upon you and sees into your heart and soul.

Directions: take the steps from the south side of the River - you can't miss it

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  • Written Aug 7, 2006
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