So after being chased out of Aidensfield by Alf Ventrice and his crew, we headed for Whitby. The roads of the North Yorkshire moors twist and turn through small hamlets and villages which are built from sandstone. Eventually you come down a steep hill and into the town of Whitby. Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in the Borough of Scarborough and English county of North Yorkshire. Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk, it was once a thriving sea port.
Whitby has a combined maritime, mineral and tourist heritage, and is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey where Caedmon, the earliest English poet, lived. The fishing port emerged during the middle ages and developed important herring and whaling fleets and was where Captain Cook learned seamanship. Tourism started in Whitby in Georgian times and developed with the coming of the railway in 1839. Tourist interest is enhanced by its location surrounded by the high ground of the North York Moors national park and heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula. Jet and alum were also mined locally, and Whitby jet, which was mined by the Romans and Victorians, became fashionable during the 19th century. Queen Victoria was a great collector of Whitby Jet.
We drove around for a fair while, took a comfort break and looked for a hotel. We stopped on the Eastern Terrace and looked to stay at this large dilapidated hotel on the headland near whalebone arch, but were rudely turned away by a receptionist who treated us with contempt. She told us they were fully booked and that we’d be lucky to find any vacancies anywhere. Looking around the place was empty, the streets were empty too and this was on a miserable damp Friday in May.
Eventually after driving around the town a couple of times we found a hotel called Bagdale Hall which at £110 a night was more than we wanted to spend but the place oozed character. Bagdale Hall’s history is long and quite interesting. Bagdale Hall was built in 1516 for the Conyers, who were at the time one of the most important family’s in Whitby. James Conyers, bailiff of Whitby lived in the Hall until some time after his being appointed Sergeant-at-Arms to King Henry VIII, when James’ nephew Gregory took over the house. It was subsequently passed down through the family and then sold to Nicholas Bushell. His son, Captain Browne Bushell inherited the Hall, and later married a daughter of Sir Thomas Fairfax, Cromwell’s Chief of Staff. In 1643 Captain Bushell served under his uncle Sir Hugh Cholmley defending Scarborough for Parliament. After Cholmley had surrendered to the Royalists, Bushell retook the castle, only later to hand it back to the royal forces.
This act resulted in his being arrested by his father-in-law, imprisonment for three years and finally, after trial by the House of Commons his execution in 1651.The hall still has the character from those long ago times and you can still imagine the stage coaches driving along the main road outside to the harbour. We settled in, showered, then headed out for the evening. We headed for the Angel which is a refurbished Wetherspoons pub/hotel. It’s far the plushest Wetherspoons pub we’ve ever been in more, swanky bar/restaurant than pub. It was here we clocked eyes on the celebrity of the weekend drinking red wine it was none other than Biff Byford the lead singer with the rock band Saxon. After a good evening drinking Dragon Slayer and 1664 we headed back for couple in the hotel bar then off to bed, which was situated in the lodge in the photo above(with cars in) .