page 1 ~ Introduction

Crystal's house ~ the oldest in the yard !

23.6.15 ~ I am told second blog cannot be accessed on Google ~ I'm hoping for new identity shortly

Let's start from the bottom of the yard, looking up towards the White House at the top above all our little gardens.   Originally this yard like all the others would have had a gate at the entry.  At night the gate would be locked or barred, particularly when there was trouble afoot, giving the families in the yard some security.   Until the thirties when slum clearances started, there were cottages facing each other on opposite sides of the footpath.   As all of them were three-storied, and scarcely 10' between each terrace, the yard would have been dark and dismal with scarcely any sunlight penetrating the gloom.   We were lucky that it was the opposite line of cottages that was demolished, leaving each of the eight remaining properties with a small garden,the site of one of the ones that have gone.  There are very few yards in Whitby which have gardens, so again we are lucky.   Pocket handkerchief sized they may be, but all of us take great pride in our small plots ~ we regularly win prizes at the annual Whitby in Bloom competition for"prettiest" or "best kept" gardens.

Our terrace of cottages all face due south, and with this open patch of ground in front, they are light and sunny.   Mine more than the rest because I have four large Georgian windows, which in the 1750s when the house was built would have given the Sanders as much light as possible in the dark yard. 

The lower cottages are older than mine by a long chalk ~ probably dating from 1650 or earlier.  They are simple cottages, each of them on three floors, one room on each : kitchen, bedoom and attic.   With small irregular windows.   The four lower cottages have cellars which regularly flood.

The oldest house of all is the tall white gable-ended one at the very bottom, which is known as Crystal's house.   Around 1639, or as it says on all our deeds, "the fourteenth year of the reign of King Charles Ist", the local gentry, the Cholmleys, were in Big Trouble as Sir Hugh Cholmley had lost a fortune in gambling and was in danger of going to prison.  At that time the family owned all the land on the east bank of the river.  To try to solve their problems, all Cholmley land below the Church and the Abbey ruins was sold off.   Development started along Church Street, and then extended behind those shops and dwellings facing onto the street, with back-to-backs in their yards.  As Whitby grew more prosperous, with whaling and the jet industry in addittion to fishing, more housing was required.   Residents along Church Street began to sell off the land behind their properties ~ mostly steep rough virgin ground ~ for development.  

This will have been when the lower cottages in Clarks Yard were built.  Obviously there were no planning regulations and the developers would put them up as quickly and cheaply as possible, filling every available space.   Astonishingly, the development stretched up the yard and well up the steep hillside above us where the foundations of several cottages can still be seen.   When you think of those poor folk struggling up there with building materials, furniture, bags of coal, babies and wriggling toddlers ~ heaven help them !   The steps are still there, worn away by centuries of working clogs, up and down in all weathers.

My house was built long after all these cottages.  Indeed it was built by Jonathan Sanders in or around 1750.  And far from a humble cottage, he built "a gem of an early Georgian double-fronted town house" for his new bride, Mary Ward.  She was older than him by a good few years (Mary born 1714, Jonathan born 1727), but as a widow of substance with a thriving business, she was a good catch !

I can't seem to download the picture of Crystal's cottage ~ this one is looking up the yard to the White House which was sometimes known as The Captain's House, but more of that later.   That's enough for tonight.   Joy Peach xxx   My good friend Di Feather is the photographer.  Sunday ~ let's try again !

My House, My Home ~ page 4

No 6 Clarks Yard Church Street Whitby ~ my beautiful house !

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Theresa Tomlinson | Reply 18.09.2015 11.36

So pleased to find your fascinating blog Joy - will keeo a good eye on it and have shared it onto my Facebook Page too!

eddy clark | Reply 10.07.2014 22.14

glad you like the sweet peas joy, a nice photo of them too. i give a lot of them away as perhaps i grow to many. am i famous at last lol.

Margaret Urwin | Reply 14.12.2013 00.25

Joy, I am loving your blog already and you are so right, your house is very beautiful. Thank you so much for showing it to me today.

ellen | Reply 11.05.2013 09.19

finally I started to read your blog. Loving it so far and will continue on my early starts in the morning as I finished my traveling. Keep it going girl.

Vera | Reply 13.01.2013 16.58

You are great Joy keep on writing about your house.I'm so lucky to know you and your house

Lloyd | Reply 10.01.2013 12.45

Fascinating to see the social history behind the building of your house. Give us more, please!

Elizabeth Wise | Reply 09.01.2013 11.05

This is fascinating Joy. Just my cup of tea!

Joy Peach | Reply 08.01.2013 21.27

Hope you are enjoying the history of Clarks Yard ~ shortly we'll get to the story of my house

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Latest comments

14.03 | 05:51

Hi Joy, came across your blog while researching the Sanders, thanks for the interesting read about them and your lovely house.

27.10 | 11:43

Michael ~ happily ~ and good luck ~ I'd like to know the outcome ~ joy peach

26.10 | 14:33

I am in the same position. Amazingly, your case R(IS)1/93 - CIS/270/1991 is being used against me. Clearly, it got more complicated. Can I quote your blog? Mike

28.05 | 15:41

Hello Joy. We have a new Merrywood Grammar group on Facebook if you would like to take a look -

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