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Whitby Abbey

Anglo-Saxon bone comb with runic inscription


We display a number of artefacts from the Abbey that have been found over the years, such as a lead bull or seal that had been attached to a papal document in the time of the 7th century AngloSaxon abbey founded by St Hilda or Hild. The Abbey was at that time a double monastery, for religious of both sexes, and this is reflected in the finds, together with some evidence of the early buildings - mostly built of timber. Hild's Abbey was destroyed in the 9th century by the Danes, but refounded as a Benedictine house for men only after the Norman Conquest, and our display contains models of the later Abbey and some artefacts left behind by visitors down to the 18th century. The largest number of finds came to light in the 1920s during excavations supervised by Sir Charles Peers and C. A. Raleigh Radford, and were acquired by the Museum in 2001 thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Book Mount Cartulary Cross
Book mount of copper alloy
gilded from Whitby Abbey
Page from the Abbot's book which is a record
of Whitby Abbey begun in 1160 and continued until the early 16th century
Abbey cross

Writing implements Cross
Anglian writing implements -
Copper alloy styli (x2), bone pricker, parchment clip
Anglian glass