The New Student's Reference Work/Whitby

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Whit'by, a seaport in Yorkshire, England, on the North Sea, at the mouth of the Esk. The old town has narrow, steep, irregular streets, while the new part has all the features of the fashionable watering-place. The old abbey is in ruins, but Whitby Hall has been restored. The parish church stands on a cliff 350 feet high, with a flight of nearly 200 steps. The piers run out about 1,000 feet in the ocean. The chief exports are jet ornaments and iron, the jet being obtained from a petrified wood peculiar to the region. The herring-fishery is increasing, but the shipping-trade, which was large when the vessels for Captain Cook's voyages were built here, has declined, and the town is gradually becoming merely a watering-place. Population 11,750. Whitby (Whitetown) originally was the seat of a monastery, built by Oswy, king of Northumbria, in 658. The convent connected with it was in charge of Abbess Hilda and became famous. Caedmon (q. v.) was a servitor of this abbey. Destroyed by the Danes in 867, it was restored in 1074.