A History of the Huntrodds of Whitby

Whilst visiting Whitby, one spectacular thing to do is walk the famous 199 steps (also known as the “Church Stairs”) which lead you up to St. Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey. There are plenty of decent sized platform areas for stopping points on the way up which allow not only a breather (for the not so athletic!) but gives you a chance to take in the spectacular panoramic views of the whole of Whitby town, its lovely harbour and amazing piers.

The Anglican Parish Church of St. Mary’s is a real ‘must’ for viewing before heading on over to Whitby Abbey. The Church’s interior is mainly furnished with items from the 18th Century. The original Norman exterior dates back to around 1110, and has been altered and added to over the centuries since that time. Take a walk around the side of the Church and you’ll discover something very unusual…

On leaving the Church porch, turn left and walk round the corner. You’ll discover a plaque set within the Church wall, which is specifically dedicated to a Whitby born-and-bred couple who both lived through the most unusual and parallel coincidences…

  • Francis Huntrodds and his wife Mary were both actually born on the same day – on 19th September 1600
  • They married each other on their shared birthday – 19th September
  • Together they raised 12 children
  • They both died on the actual same day – on their joint 80th birthdays – 19th September 1680, and with around only five hours between their passing.

19th September is now officially known as ‘Huntrodds Day’.

The plaque’s most unusual inscription is shown in the picture below.

Huntrodds Plaque

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