The Black HorseProminently located on one of Whitby's oldest streets, The Black Horse Inn appears at a first glance to be a relatively ordinary Victorian Pub. However, behind the current frontage, added during a refit in the 1880s, is an older structure, built upon the foundations of an even older hostelry. Indeed there is little doubt that there has been an inn on this site since the seventeenth century and there are strong indications that there was some kind of hostelry here long before that, perhaps even as early as the 12th century.

Clearly therefore The Black Horse Inn, which was known as The White Horse prior to a forced name change in 1828 has withstood many changes in Whitby's history. It has seen rise and decline of the shipbuilding, whaling and jet industries and must also have seen many illustrious visitors and inhabitants of Whitby pass through its doors.

The Black Horse also features what is believed to be one of the oldest public serving bars in Europe having been installed shortly after its invention in America in the 1870s.

The Black Horse Inn was declared a building of Special Architectural and Historical Interest in 1973, enabling its character to be retained for future generations to enjoy.


Dates and Events Having a Bearing Upon
The History of The Black Horse Inn


657Hyld (a.k.a. St Hilda) establishes her monastery in Whitby. Famed for the Synod of Whitby in 664, it was destroyed by Vikings in 867.
1073Norman restoration of Whitby Abbey with possible development of it as a pilgrimage centre and the construction of a guesthouse complex on what is now the site of The Black Horse Inn.
1545Richard Cholmley purchases the entire precinct of Whitby having leased it for some years after the disolution of the abbey in 1538.
1604The Alum works at Slapewath, near Guisborough, is established.
1720sThe whaling industry begins in Whitby.
1746James Cook comes to Whitby to serve his apprenticeship.
1768Captain James Cook sets out on his famous voyage to Tahiti during which he 'discovered' Australia.
1775-1783American Wars of Independence boost shipbuilding in Whitby.
1788The Whitby-York stagecoach runs for the first time.
1799-1815The Napoleonic Wars: a further boost to shipbuilding in Whitby.
1808The first 'proper' Whitby Jet workshop is set up.
1828The White Horse becomes The Black Horse Inn.
1830The whaling fleet sails for the last time.
1836The Whitby to Pickering railway line opens.
1851The work of Whitby Jet carvers is displayed at The Great Exhibition. At this time there are about 50 jet workshops in Whitby.
1854Lewis Carroll is first published in the Whitby Gazette.
1861Prince Albert dies. Queen Victoria goes into mourning and Whitby Jet becomes very fashionable.
1871Closure of the Alum mine at Sandsend, the last in the area.
1880sThe current frontage and public serving bar are installed at The Black Horse.
1897Bram Stoker's book "Dracula" is published.
1973The Black Horse is declared a building of Special Architectural and Historical Interest.
2005The most recent refit during which, amongst other things, the guest rooms were all converted to be en-suite.