It may not display all the features of this and other websites.
The Whitby headland may have been occupied by a Roman signal station in the 3rd century AD, as it is midway between known stations at Goldsborough and Ravenscar, and is in a strategic position at the mouth of the river Esk.
Following the collapse of Roman rule Britain fragmented into a number of small kingdoms, and by the 7th century Northumbria – roughly covering what is now Northumberland and Yorkshire – was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.
In 664 it was the setting for the Synod of Whitby, a landmark in the history of the Church in England.
The headland is now dominated by the shell of the 13th-century church of the Benedictine abbey founded after the Norman Conquest.
The ruins of Whitby Abbey are among the most celebrated sights of North Yorkshire.
The first monastery here, founded in about 657, became one of the most important religious centres in the Anglo-Saxon world.In 627 the Anglian King of Northumbria, Edwin, converted to Christianity and was baptised by the Roman missionary St Paulinus.The monastery at Streaneshalch was founded in about 657 by Hild (614–80), daughter of an Anglian nobleman, with the support of Oswiu (d.670), then ruler of Anglian Northumbria.In the 7th and 8th centuries the headland at Whitby was occupied by a large Anglian community, together with a celebrated monastery for both monks and nuns.Excavations here have revealed much evidence of Anglian life, including large quantities of pottery, household goods and fine metal objects.Streaneshalch seems to have been of particular importance to the Northumbrian royal family, as a number of its members were buried there.