Whitby Abbey

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The ruins of Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is a ruined monastery sited on Whitby's East Cliff in northern England. It was founded in 657 AD by St. Hilda. The double monastery of monks and nuns was also home to the great Saxon poet St. Caedmon.

In 644, the abbey was the site of the Synod of Whitby, at which the Northumbrian Celtic church was reconciled to Rome. In 867, the abbey fell to Viking attack, and was abandoned until 1078, when it was re-founded by Reinferd. The second monastery lasted until it was destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540. The abbey buildings fell into ruins and were mined for stone, but remained a prominent landmark for sailors.