Halloween is always an atmospheric time of year – glowing pumpkins, roasted chestnuts, Yorkshire parkin and faces painted in a myriad of ghoulish disguises. But this year was made all the more so by spending Samhain in the Gothic surroundings of Whitby and it’s wonderful abbey ruins.
English Heritage‘s Illuminated Abbey event in 2019 was a week of activities at the abbey that sits in a prominent position on the headland overlooking Whitby’s ancient harbour. The abbey itself is, of course, a ruin – years of neglect after the violence of it’s dissolution in 1540 left it a shell. The bracing wind, rain and salt spray from the North Sea have also taken their toll on the stonework and an attack by German battle-cruisers in December 1914 did further severe damage.
I find myself writing this blog in Lincolnshire, a place we often visit as a family, and somewhere that my own family hails from in the dim and distant past. While I’ve been aware of this association in my family history since I first started researching my family history in 2001, it was only last year that I actually found myself with the time to spare and in the right place to be able to visit the church at Tallington.
My earlier blog posting considered the legend of a local saint, Saint Leonard of Reresby, one about which I had never come across until I researched the medieval stone cross at St Leonard’s Church in nearby Thrybergh.
It’s unsurprising that I’ve never come across the legend before as it seems the first time anyone has put any coherent research together is John Doxey’s website on the local area.
Etching from 1817 of the stone cross at it’s original location on East Hill (now the cemetery) in Thrybergh.
I wrote in a previous blog about the stone cross that can be found at St Leonard’s Church in Thrybergh and while researching that post I came across the legend of St Leonard and the various stories and myths associated with it. It was a story that I was unfamiliar with even though I’m more than familiar with Thrybergh and with the church itself. Thanks go to John Doxey, among others, for providing some of the background information to my own search on his own website.