Flowergate and Cliff Street in Whitby
Flowergate in Whitby is one of the oldest and most historic streets in the town, although the majority of the tourists visiting would usually think that Church Street on the East side is one of the oldest streets but this is not strictly true.
Flowergate in Whitby is In Doomsday Book, A.D. 1086, Fiore, and in 1222 Flowergate.
The first opening on the seaward side was Silver Street. At the Further end of this street is Wellington Terrace, where at N0. 3 James Russell Lowell, poet and American Ambassador to London, was a regular visitor from 1880 lot 1889. In one of his letters he writes: "This is my ninth
year at Whitby and the place loses none of its charm for me".
In this street is the oldest Independent Chapel, opened in 1805, and used, till recently, as the Congregational Lecture Hall. Independency began in Whitby about 1770, with the secession of a Wesleyan parson, and the Rev. John Wesley, writing in his, journal under the date of May 16th, 1770, said of him: "I earnestly desired our Society to leave him to God, and
say nothing about him, good or bad".
Before reaching the top of Brunswick Street, notice on the right-hand slide a much worn horsing block standing on the kerb, its steps almost worn away by the generations of children who have climbed over it.
The corner of Brunswick Street was formerly called Stockton Walk, and some old houses, together with a raised causeway, were cleared away in 1890.
Further down Flowergate is Cliff Street or Cliff Lane, near the left-hand corner of
which is a building occupied as a solicitor’s office by Messrs’ Seaton Gray, Bell and Bagshawe. Here were the Whitby Court House, House of Correction and Gaolers lodging. The gaol was instituted in accordance with an order of Sessions in 1636, by Sir Hugh Cholmley and Sir John Hotham, both of whom played prominent parts in the great Civil War. The front of the building was the Court Room and other offices, the gaolers lodging being behind. The cells are underground and now walled up; the yard where prisoners were taken for exercise was called Correction House Gartrh.
Today the little Whitby Yards which branch off Flowergate are mostly now turned into holiday Whitby Cottages and offer some of the very best traditional character holiday accommodation cottages for people to stay in and enjoy this wonderful town of Whitby.