White Horse and Griffin
87 Church St, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Over three centuries old, the White Horse and Griffin, is on one of Whitby’s oldest cobbled streets. It was at one time, the busiest stagecoach station in town. Now it presents as an early Victorian pub with the old stagecoach entrance at the side. There is a plaque on one-wall that records that the first coach ran from here to York in 1788. However, that is contradicted by other local history that coaches did not run from Whitby until 1795. The price then was 14 shillings on the outside and 18 shillings inside. The name, White Horse, has been in use since the 15th century and had widespread heraldic use. The Griffin part is from the crest of a Whitby family called Chomley. The White Horse and Griffin has featured much in the history of Whitby, with one resident for a short time was Victorian author, Charles Dickens. Dickens visited Whitby and stayed at the White Horse and Griffin, with in a letter of 1861 to his friend, Wilkie Collins, wrote, “In my time that curious railroad by the Whitby Moor was so much the more curious, that you were balanced against a counter-weight of water, with that you did it like Blondin. However, in these remote days the one inn of Whitby was up a back-yard, with oyster-shell grottoes were the only view from the best private room." Many of the travellers, staying at Church Street inns, bedded down in the cellars. They were grossly exploited. A large number of licensees were sent to the Sessions by the constables for overcharging for beer, with charging a penny a quart. The ghosts that haunt this pub are from the coaching period. On one occasion, a coach and four raced into the opening, with two children were trampled to death. Frequently, this little boy and girl manifest in the coach entrance, with occasionally inside on the first floor. Furthermore, there is the ghost of a traveller who died in the cellars, with manifests wearing an early 1800s style of clothing.