The history of the Duke of York can be traced back 1000 years to the doomsday book. It is recorded that the monks serviced the monastry above from this very spot, landing all they needed from the sea. The pier immediatly in front (Tate hill pier) is dated around 600-700 AD and Saxon in construction. It was the original sea defence for the East side. Very large ships would operate from here in the whaling days some 200 years ago. Evidence of this can be seen by the large grooves in the stone where the ships were tied against the pier. In the 19th century, many romantic and gothic writers would come to Whitby, namely, Charles Dickens, Lewis Carrol and Bram Stoker who penned Dracula, setting almost one third of his book in Whitby. In one famous incident from the book, a dog is shipwrecked on the "Dmitry of Narva" onTate Hill Sands just below the Duke of York. The dog runs up the 199 steps to the Abbey and turns into Dracula, the rest is history.
For the past 150 years the Duke of York has been a pub that we can understand today, but previously it was always an ale house which was one of many on this street, in fact Whitby had the highest number of ale houses per captita in the whole of England.
We continue to carry on the tradition of the great British pub whilst keeping up with the changes of modern life. We hope that we have achieved this with our Ales, our food and our good old fashioned Yorkshire hospitality, you decide.