The impressive ruins of Whitby Abbey are perched on a headland overlooking the town of Whitby and the North Sea, and are said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, along with certain areas of the town.
Bronze age archaeological finds confirm the site was settled during that period.
The Abbey was originally a Christian Monastery housing both monks and nuns, founded in the seventh century by Abbess Hild, who had been born into one of the most powerful kingdoms of the time. She was the great niece of the Northumbrian king.
When the Vikings attacked the east coast in the ninth century, the monastery fell into disrepair until the eleventh century when it was re-established as a Benedictine Abbey. This abbey lasted until it was destroyed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.