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“A quirky little church on the cliffs”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of St Mary's Church

St Mary's Church
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$39.18*
and up
Full-Day North Yorkshire Moors and Whitby in Winter from York
Ranked #7 of 51 things to do in Whitby
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
177 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“A quirky little church on the cliffs”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2014

Been to Whitby many times but never saw the inside of this quirky, ancient little church till last weekend. It's very interesting wandering round seeing the old box pews, the 3-tier pulpit and the old boiler that they still use to heat the church today. Apparently, the Victorians overlooked this church when they cleared the interiors of so many others, so the old cluttered charm of St Mary's lives on. Friendly local people were keen to chat to us and share their knowledge of the church history too, which was nice. Well worth a visit if you're up on the cliff after climbing all those steps..! Weather was grim when we visited, which meant the usual views of the town were hidden behind mist, but normally it's worth the climb for the view alone.

Visited April 2014
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Thank Maria O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A church the Victorians forgot”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

After fish & chips at Quayside we felt some exercise would be in order. So the 199 steps up to St. Mary's and then Whitby Abbey seemed like a good way of killing two birds with one stone. The church was a revelation: box pews which had apparently been removed from most English churches by the Victorians - this information was revealed by the lovely elderly lady who was cleaning in the church, feather duster and polish in hand; my husband asked her about the unusual layout of the church and she was very happy to oblige - those brasses would have to wait for a few minutes more…'We've a book somewhere, just a minute' she pronounced and lead us to the entrance where she rummaged around in a cupboard for a short while. The book - The churches the Victorians forgot by Mark Chatfield - was duly produced and flicked through to find the church we were standing in. It transpired that this lovely lady's grandparents had been married at the church and her father baptised there. In the midst of this fascinating exchange, a phone rang ( at first I thought it was mine and began rummaging in my handbag) but it was our impromptu guide's…'It's my daughter, Joanne, 'scuse me'; a short exchange ensued, culminating in the immortal words 'Lamb chops' and then ended ( the lamb chops were due for consumption the following night for tea it transpired). We chatted for a few more minutes and then took our leave - 'Those brasses won't do themselves'. The highlight of our visit to Whitby - how lucky are we that elderly ladies like this continue to look after our churches - presumably as volunteers. On the way back down to the town we dropped into Justin's famous fudge shop and stocked up ( the Chocolate and Hazelnut fudge is to die for..); a perfect end to a perfect day...

Visited April 2014
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Thank Jill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
76 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Worth the climb”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2014

Great little Church with a view to really impress, old graveyard with many old stone headstones and a great view of the harbour and piers. Climbed the 199 steps but really worth it.

Visited April 2014
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Thank Frazer A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A piece of the past”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

When going to Whitby you must visit this church and graveyard.Both hold so much history and really take you back in time. The views from the yard are stunning. A must if you are also going to the Abbey.

Visited April 2014
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Thank mich32001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
121 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“No, we don't know where Captain Cook sat”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

It's clear from the notices around the church that visitors always ask the same questions. Dracula never visited either, according to the sign in the nave.

It's a shame that people don't appreciate this church more for its unique interiors (it still has its original box pews carrying instructions on who could sit where).

Well worth a visit.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank MorningAJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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