History of Whitby Harbour Piers

Whitby's harbour piers used to protect the fishing fleet which has declined but they're still a great tourist attraction.


Whitby Abbey has got to be the pinnacle of tourist attractions in the town, but probably coming a close second at the twin harbour piers which were first mentioned in 1545 when they were at that time timber construction.


In 1632 they were rebuilt using stone but still having a framework of timber and It is thought that the first pier was on the west side, with the east pier being built much later.

Whitby Piers

A gentleman called Sir Hugh Cholmley took a great deal of interest in developing the harbour piers, but it took until 1702 for an act of Parliament to be granted for complete reconstruction of both piers.


The West harbour pier was completely rebuilt and finished in 1814 and is the one which is still there today and a little later in 1831 a lighthouse was constructed, which had been designed by Francis Pickernell who was an engineer for the Harbour Trustees. The East side pier was built later in 1854.
The Inner harbour piers called Tate Hill Pier, formerly Bridges Pier and also Fish Pier which was the shortest one, called that because there had been a fish market from 1790 onwards. This is the location where nowadays the motor rescue boat is housed at the side of the pier.


If you get the opportunity to go on one of the many sea trips that are now available in Whitby harbour, you will get the finest view of the old town as you go through the twin piers as you look up you can see St Mary's Church in Whitby Abbey on the east side. Over to the West side you can view Captain cooks commemorative statue and then look down towards Sandsend which is a beautiful view.


The piers obviously offer the usual protection from the sea and were of great use when the town was still prominently fishing town with all the boats were moored inside the harbour, safe from the
Nowadays their purpose is not really needed any more as the fishing industry has declined dramatically, but they still serve an important defence against the sea for the town.

There has been much erosion of the cliffs down the East Coast of England, with some of the fishing ports like Staithes needing new sea defences building over recent years.
Not too many years ago, by there was a famous story in Scarborough, which is 27 miles down the coast from Whitby, when unfortunately one of the hotels collapsed into the sea due to cliff erosion. Thankfully everybody I been evacuated from the building before the tragedy happened.


But the harbour piers are still one of Whitby's most attractive features, being a great draw for the tourists that come to the town each year. And even though they're not required to the same degree for the fishing fleet protection of yesteryear they are still an important barrier against the s

 

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