Saturday, February 19, 2011


Whitby;  There is a 'buzz' about Whitby even when  it is windy and cold, and raining as it is today.  Looking out of my bedroom windy and the abbey stands on the cliff tops, , shadowed by the mist and rain.  This house is cold, its tall windows rattle with the wind, the children's voices echo from upstairs, they have to walk quietly because the plasterer has been in to do a hallway ceiling, so no thumping down the stairs.
The small cottage, which is now mine, I approached with some trepidation a couple of days ago, but it is as I remembered it and very cosy. 
Now of course is just the start, probably gas central heating to put in, plus a new bathroom and the chimney to be resealed, but to be truthful it would be easy enough to move in today.
Going to the solicitors for final signings and he had a great fat folder of its history, which we both explored.
The land dates back to 1612, Chumleys were the owners, it presumably was abbey land in Whitby, and the Chumleys took over the abbots land after the Dissolution of the abbeys.  The cottage has a date of 1712 on its front, but like all these small tenement places in the yards, had been added to and rebuilt over the last 300 years.
Yards are common in Whitby, tiny cottages grouped round a small square, sometime in the past, if you went up the steps  I would have owned a 'privy', nothing remains of it now, but I do have a tiny space where I can grow plants against the large wall just in front of the house.  This would have a 'kitchen' in times gone by, what the deeds uncovered is, that this bit of land had  not been registered on the land registerybut  it is mine. 
My next door neighbours came out and explained my 'rights' yesterday, they are a very sweet old couple, and said they had learnt that I loved flowers, and showed me the rather grotty flowerboxes I had inherited plus of course a large rhodendron, also my 'dustbin' which was  rather grotty, but they very generously offered me the use of theirs.All in all it is quite exciting, exploring all this new stuff.  People, are of course very warm up North, ready to talk, and best of all they have real flowers at the greengrocers.  Not those terrible coloured monstrosities you get at the supermarkets, but bunches of daffodils - bliss!


  1. Hi thelma, What yard are you in? My family had a house in Blackburns Yard off Church Street. Will you put some picture of your cottage up?

    Good luck in your new home.

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  3. Hi Jamara, its in Flowergate. Will put some photos up I expect when I get back next week.There is some work to be done on the cottage yet though.