Archbishop opens town’s religious heritage centre

THE Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, opened a new centre on Saturday to mark more than 1,300 years of Whitby’s religious heritage.

The centre has been created in Cholmley’s House, a ruined 17th century mansion in the shadow of the ruins of medieval Whitby Abbey. It opened at Easter more than 1,300 years after the Synod of Whitby of AD664 agreed to adopt the Roman rather than the Celtic method of calculating the date of Easter.

Dr Hope and English Heritage chairman, Sir Neil Cossons, were greeted outside Cholmley’s House by costumed interpreters representing Sir Hugh Cholmley II, who built the house in the late 17th century, and Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, the legendary Victorian photographic chronicler of Whitby Abbey.

Cholmley’s House is the first modern English Heritage visitor centre to be created inside a scheduled ancient monument, and its opening marks the completion of the 5.7m Whitby Abbey Headland Project.

The project is the result of a partnership between English Heritage, Scarborough Council and the Strickland Estate with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, Regional Challenge, to make the area more visitor friendly.