Haggersgate, Whitby, North Yorkshire
‘Haggersgate’ is a curiously named street, with the most ancient in Whitby. At one time, the street was lined with pubs and brothels in the 18th century. However, all that remains is the Star Inn. The street name may have come from Old English haegtesse, an evil spirit in female form. In 1793, a one thousand strong mob rioted along its length, protesting at the presence of the press gang resident in this pub. The Star is a fine looking three storey white painted building, with all the appearance of being late Georgian. ‘Star’ has been a popular name for pubs from the 15th century as a religious symbol. Originally, this referred to the star of Bethlehem or to the Virgin Mary, one of whose titles was Star of the Sea. It was also a simple sign for those who were unable to read. It exhibits ghostly manifestations. these include none other than Captain James Cook, a former shop assistant at Whitby. James Cook went on to become one of England’s greatest explorers and navigators. He , witnesses report, to haunt the first floor of the Star. However, when he manifests, he is wearing a sea going uniform rather than as he is perceived in portraits. On several occasions, he has appeared surrounded by a white aura. At one end of Haggersgate is the Mission to Seamen, a large brick building, which was once the mansion of John Yeoman, a wealthy ship-owner. Frequently, a ghostly coach people hear clattering along the street and pulling outside Yeoman’s old home. After a few minutes, this invisible coach people hear making its way down towards the harbour.