Photographer's Note

Tourist boat Esk Belle III entering Whitby harbour under the escort of a seagull.

Whitby is situated on the east coast of Yorkshire facing the North Sea in a deep valley at the mouth of the River Esk. It has been a bridging point since at least medieval times and several bridges have spanned the river. The earliest record of a permanent settlement is in 656, when as Streanœhealh it was the place where Oswy, the Christian king of Northumbria, founded the first abbey, under the abbess Hilda. The Synod of Whitby was held there in 664. In 867, the monastery was destroyed by Viking raiders, and was re-founded in 1078. It was in this period that the town gained its current name, Whitby (from "white settlement" in Old Norse). In the following centuries Whitby functioned as a fishing settlement until, in the 18th century, it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling, the trade in locally mined alum and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.
The harbour is sheltered by the grade II listed east and west piers each with a lighthouse and beacon with fixed lights. The west lighthouse, of 1835, is the taller at 84 feet (25.5 m) and the east lighthouse, built in 1855, is 54 feet (16.5 m) high. On the west pier extension is a foghorn that sounds a blast every 30 seconds during fog.
The harbour and the mouth of the River Esk are on a geological fault. The upper and lower harbours have a total area of around 80.1 acres (32.40 ha)

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Additional Photos by Trevor Moffiet (trevormoffiet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 212 W: 2 N: 578] (3112)
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