• LOCATION 6 | Essential Whitby: A Guide to the Town’s Legends, Treasures and Main Sites

    Skinner Street Top

    Keep going straight.

    The number of guest houses show the popularity of Whitby as a tourist destination. However, the first major industry here was alum mining.

    Alum is a mineral used in the dying of fabrics, and can be found in abundance in the cliffs around Whitby. Alum mining began here in 1606 and the town then began to grow.

    Lionel Charlton, in his History of Whitby and Whitby Abbey published in 1779 said that the discovery of alum raised Whitby out of obscurity and first acquainted the town with navigation. Its clear that Charlton had James Cook in mind when writing this passage.

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