Whitby Road, SM5

PLACE NAME

Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire started life in the 7thCentury as a monastery, known as Streanæshealh, established by Oswy, King of Northumbria. It became the most important religious site in the Anglo-Saxon world, it was there that the date for Easter was decided in AD664. Later, in 1078, Reinfrid, a soldier of William the Conqueror and his brother, Serlo de Percy founded a house for Benedictine monks there, on land given to them by William de Percy, and it is from this time that the name changed to Whitby. There are a couple of suggestions as to what the name means. It could come from the Old Norse words hvítr, meaning white, and býr, the word for a farm to mean white farm, alternatively, from an Old Norse personal name Hvíti, to mean Hvíti’s farm. It has also been suggested that the element by comes from the Old English word for a manor house, burh. Its various recorded versions include Wyteby in the 11thCentury, Wyttebeya in the 12thCentury and Qwyteby in the 15thCentury. A centre for learning the abbey thrived before being closed in 1540 under the orders of Henry VIII during his cull of the monasteries. Like many of the roads on the St Helier’s estate this is named after British monasteries and abbeys in remembrance of the area’s historic ownership by Westminster Abbey. The road names are in alphabetical order, of which Aberconway Road in the north west of the estate is first.

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