Whitby Abbey Headland Project

Whitby Parks & Historic Landscapes

TGP was commissioned in 1998 to provide Specialist Landscape Architectural Services for English Heritage’s Whitby Abbey Headland Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

2002 - RIBA White Rose Award | 2003 - Europa Nostra Award | 2003 - Civic Trust Special Award for Access | 2003 - RIBA Award

This involved a partnership of all principal landowners of the Abbey Ruins, open headland and Abbey House complex, as well as a funding package from public and private resources, including English Heritage, Scarborough Council, the Strickland Constable Estate and Countrywide Holidays.

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Project approach and deliverables:

  • Archaeological investigation.
  • New Museum and interpretation.
  • Restoration of the 17th Century North Entrance Courts.
  • New car park.
  • New southern entrance building to the Abbey Grounds.
  • New visitor circulation.
  • Removal of the original car park and restoration of the Headland.
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TGP created landscape proposals to meet the following objectives:

  • To maintain the broad, open landscape character of the Headland and the Abbey Grounds.
  • To ensure that a robust circulation system enables the visitor to experience the Headland, the spirit of place and the complex historical layering.
  • Provide access for all to experience the Headland.
  • Integration of interpretation.
  • Avoid conflict with/prejudicing the archaeology.

The landscape proposals included the following aspects:

  • Historical research in connection with the 17th-century gardens and the Cholmley family.
  • Entrances and the design of the visitor circulation system.
  • Pond restoration.
  • Restoration of the formal entrance courts as a fitting context for the museum, which is housed within the shell of the hall which formed the Cholmley family home.
  • Provision of a landscape management plan.