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July 23, 2017

42 Incredible Vintage Photographs Capture Everyday Life in Whitby and Surrounding Areas in the Late 19th Century

Francis Meadow (Frank) Sutcliffe (1853–1941) was an English pioneering photographic artist whose work presented an enduring record of life in the seaside town of Whitby, England, and surrounding areas, in the late Victorian era and early 20th century. His documentation of the Victorian and Edwardian periods in Whitby, led him to be labelled as the "pictorial Boswell of Whitby.

“The essence of art is to conceal art,” wrote Frank. He made a living as a portrait photographer, working first in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and then for the rest of his life in Whitby, living in Broomfield Terrace in Whitby before moving to Sleights, Yorkshire.

His father had brought him into contact with prominent figures in the world of art such as John Ruskin, and he resented having to prostitute his art taking photographs of holiday-makers. His business in Skinner Street, a converted jet grinding and polishing works, rooted him to Whitby and the Eskdale valley but, by photographing the ordinary people that he knew well, he built up a most complete and revealing picture of a late Victorian town, and the people who lived and worked there.

Fish stall, Whitby

Fishermen on wharf


House by river banks in Whitby.

House by river banks in Whitby


Marine Hotel at the seaside

Marine Hotel

Men at ease in Whitby

Mending the nets

Milking time

People in work at a farm

Port with small boats

Portrait of three happy boys

Portrait of three people outside a house

Sheep grazing in the middle

The fish pier

The harbor of Whitby with sailboats

The harbor of Whitby with sailboats

The ingathering

The question

The river in Whitby

The Strom family of Robin Hood's Bay

Trees and river

Two horses and a rider on a beach

View of the Marina Hotel

Village with a pile of wood in front

West Cliff, Whitby

Whitby from St Mary's Parish Church

Whitby, Yorkshire




Woman reading

Yorkshire Coast, Whitby

A conversation

A group of boys bathing from a rowing boat

A group of fishing girls in the stairs down to the beach, Whitby

A quiet gossip

At the field

Dinner time

Dock End, Whitby



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