• LOCATION 21 | Essential Whitby: A Guide to the Town’s Legends, Treasures and Main Sites

    Baxtergate Cottages

    During the day this street can be used by cars so please be careful. Stop for a moment and take a look at the cute pair of cottages on your left.

    The first cottage you come to is the setting for a 2017 novel written by Jenny Hesketh and titled The House on Baxtergate. This is a love story set in Whitby over 240 years ago.

    Now direct your attention to the right, and look above the Boyes' shop front.

    This very tall building was Whitby's Empire Cinema. Split between stalls and balcony seating, the cinema boasted 657 seats. My understanding is that it is purely coincidental that this is the same year an Abbey was established in Whitby. The cinema opened in 1914 and closed in 1983 - the final showing was Flashdance.

    Let's keep moving. I'll tell you more as we go. Continue walking straight.

    When the cinema was converted into a shop, building works uncovered large rings in the cellar walls. Some speculated that these were used for chaining prisoners when the building was used for a jail, however they were in fact used for tying up boats. This shows that the area on the opposite side of the building was once tidal.

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Essential Whitby: A Guide to the Town’s Legends, Treasures and Main Sites