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Please note that Whitby Abbey will be closed until April 2019 while we carry out improvements to both our facilities and visitors experience. During this time both the abbey grounds and the museum will be closed.
This year we're investing almost £1.6 million to transform Whitby Abbey and celebrate the history of this iconic landmark.
In April 2019, explore 3,000 years of history in the new permanent exhibition with dramatic displays of unique objects and an interactive guide.
You will also be able to enjoy new improved facilities, making sure you get the most out of your visit.Learn more
A round house inside a ditched enclosure is built near the cliff edge on the Whitby headland.
A Roman signal station may have sat on a now eroded cliffside spot, strategically positioned at the mouth of the Esk.
Hild, an Anglian nobleman's daughter, with the support of Oswiu, King of Northumbria, founds Streaneshalch monastery for monks and nuns.
Find out more about the history of the abbey
King Oswiu rules in the Synod of Whitby that the Northumbrian church will calculate Easter and obey monastic customs based on Roman rather than Celtic tradition.
The Anglian town and monastery are abandoned, probably as a result of Viking raids from Denmark, followed by permanent Danish settlers.
Reinfrid, a monk, founds a Benedictine monastery at Whitby. Timber buildings are replaced by stone, in the Romanesque style.
Part of the monastery church is rebuilt in the Gothic style, over a period of 200 years.
The monastery is suppressed by Henry VIII. Richard Cholmley buys it.
Sir Hugh Cholmley defends Scarborough Castle for Charles I. Parliamentarian troops capture and loot Whitby.
Sir Hugh Cholmley II restores the estate. He adds a grand new wing, the Banqueting Hall, and lays out a formal approach entrance courtyard.
The abandoned abbey church erodes and mostly collapses. The town is now a popular tourist seaside resort, and engravings and paintings of the ruin are created.
Charles Strickland, descendant of the Cholmleys, adds a wing to the surviving part of the Abbey House, adapting it as a holiday residence.
The German High Seas Fleet shells Whitby and strikes the abbey ruins. There is much damage to the west front.
The Strickland family gives the abbey to the Ministry of Works. Sir Charles Peers uncovers evidence of the Anglian settlement.
English Heritage carries out archaeological excavations and surveys. Remains threatened by cliff erosion are rescued.
Learn more about Whitby Abbey