3 reviews of Whale Bone Arch in English
The wale bone arch you will see in Whitby today is a recent replacement.
The old bones where much larger but time, sea winds and salt took their toll on the old bone and they had started to become split and worn.
They were replaced not long after the turn of the century.
The bones commerate the whaling history of the town, more can be found out about this in the museum.
The bones are as much as a landmark of the town as the Abbey and St. Hilda’s church.
Its well worth a walk to the bones to see the great views over to the other cliff and the Abbey and church. The town looks great spread out beneath and on a clear day the sea looks endless.
Nice pair of bones on the cliff top looking out over the north sea with a good view of the abbey. You’ll be able to get easy access if you’re staying in one of the old peoples hotels at the cliff top, and less easy access to if you’re staying at the youth hostel near the abbey. Why not stand between them and feel like a leviathan’s lunch? You don’t have to walk up there, there is a cliff lift from the beach, but you then have to double back. It’s up to you.
Few visitors to Whitby can leave without a photo in front of the Whalebones.Standing in a little garden atop a cliff.
Whaling was an important industry in Whitby during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1786 for example, 20 whaling ships left Whitby for the whaling waters of Greenland. They returned with barrels packed with blubber, where it was rendered down to oil making a fearful stench.
The original Whale jaw bone arch was erected some time after 1853 and is now displayed in the Whitby Archives and Heritage Centre. A replica was presented to Whitby by Norway in 1963. The current replacement was donated by Alaska in April 2003 The unveiling and dedication was performed by Miss Alaska on 6.04.2003.( 15ft long bones from Bow-head Whale killed under licence by Alaskan Inuits.)
Between the years 1753 and 1833. 55 sailing ships from Whitby were engaged in whaling. Many Whitby men were killed, boats overturned and ships crushed.
Slender whale boats were lowered from the sailing ships, each manned by a crew of six. These crew men would kill the whales with hand thrown harpoons.
During this period over 25, 000 seals 55 polar bears and 2761 whales were brought back to Whitby.
When the time drew near for the return of a whaling ship to Whitby close watch was kept for the sign of the masthead appearing over the horizon. If a pair of whale jaw bones were triced up to the mast then the waiting wives of Whitby knew that the ship was full.
I may not agree with whaling but it was a way of life and should be recorded historically. Little is now left to remind us of those prosperous days, other than this pair of whale jaw bones.
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