Whitby Abbey 44
Photographer: Ogle, Thomas
Medium: Photographic print
In his book 'The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire' William Howitt begins with a criticism of the “Dryasdust” style of historical writing used by topographers by which one gets “the bare bones of the chief facts, and nothing but the bare bones; no flesh, no muscle, no skin, no beautifying colour and life."
Of Whitby Abbey he continues: "This monastery is said to have been first erected by St. Hilda, the abbess of Heruten, now Hartlepool, in consequence of a vow made by her, and on ground granted by Oswy, King of Northumberland. This took place in 657; and Aelfleda, a daughter of Oswy, became a nun in the establishment, and succeeded as abbess on Hilda's decease, which occurred in 680. the monastery was for both men and women. The name of the place in the Saxon times was Streoneshall, meaning the bay of a watch-tower; but on the invasion of the Danes it obtained the name of Vitby, or the White Town; now slightly changed to Whitby.”
Howitt goes on to quote from Scott's’s poem ‘Marmion’ in which the poet refers to varoius legends of Saint Hilda and her convent.
Text by William Howitt from his book 'The Ruined Abbeys of Yorkshire'
This is one of two photographs by Thomas Ogle published in this re-issue of part of 'The Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain' (1862).