Landslip threatens old smokehouse

Andover Advertiser: A separate landslip left a terrace of five houses needing to be demolished in Whitby A separate landslip left a terrace of five houses needing to be demolished in Whitby

A 140-year-old kipper smokehouse may have to close temporarily after a landslip overlooking an historic harbour shifted further overnight.

Land close to St Mary's Church in Whitby, North Yorkshire, dropped away a week ago, bringing earth and even human remains crashing down the hillside.

On Friday night, another piece of the hillside fell away with some debris hitting buildings belonging to Fortune's Kippers, on Henrietta Street.

Owner Barry Brown said his shop has been spared for now but part of his smokehouse had not been so lucky.

But Mr Brown thinks he may have to close his shop too next week to allow engineers to work on the problem.

"A lot more's come down now," he said. "It's pretty bad."

The landslip it believed to have been caused by a damaged drainage pipe. This has left rainwater pouring out of the ancient graveyard and down the cliff.

It is directly below the church, which is a familiar sight on picture postcards as it sits next to Whitby's famous abbey, high above the harbour. Thousands of tourists every year trek up the 199 steps which link the church and the abbey to the sea.

It is a separate landslip from one further along the east cliff in Whitby which left a terrace of five houses needing to be demolished. Work is continuing to knock down the former jet workers' cottages on Aelfreda Terrace after their patio gardens disappeared last month and they were condemned by engineers.

They are being dismantled brick-by-brick due to their precarious state.

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