Tate Hill Pier one of Whitby's oldest structures!

Published: Wednesday 23rd Apr 2014

Written by: Ben Abbott

As recently featured in the Whitby Gazette, it seems that the famous Tate Hill Pier may indeed be one of Whitby's oldest structures.

In light of a new information board which is being planned for the pier, readers were given a brief history about its origin which amazingly dates back as far as 1190! At this time, the pier was first recorded as being constructed from loose stones with a wooden frame. With the Saxons and Vikings settling in the area around this time they would have needed something like this to act as an entrance to the harbour and to protect their boats. 

Over the centuries, the pier has received several re-builds and extensions. In 1632, Hugh Chomley had the pier rebuilt in stone. Further to this, it was then extended in 1766.

Possibly the pier's most notable moment was its mention in Bram Stoker's Dracula. In the horror classic, a Russian vessel named Demeter of Varna runs aground on the Tate Hill Sands. This was based on a true event, where in 1885 a Russian vessel named Dimitry of Narva actually ran aground on the sands whilst author Bram Stoker was visiting the town. From this event he took some inspiration for his book Dracula which was then published two years later.

The planned information board will include information provided by Whitby's Philosophical and Literary Society as well as authors George Young, Rosalin Baker and Alan Appleton.

Ben Abbott



Return to blog article index