Canon JS Atkinson (1814 – 1900) was the Vicar of Danby parish from 1847. He wrote the book ‘Forty Years in a Moorland Parish’, a detailed account of life in and around Danby Dale at a time of great change. Danby lies some 15 miles inland from Whitby and many of the places he mentions in his book can still be seen today.
On his first visit to the village he recalls meeting a big wagon pulled by 20 horses and oxen, and carrying with a single giant block of sandstone that towered above him ‘like a house roof’. Waiting at the bottom of the hill were another 4 similar loads, still to be dragged up the steep road by the team of animals, before continuing on their way to Whitby harbour
Canon Atkinson’s grave is beside St Hilda’s Church in Danby Dale, about 2 miles from Danby village.