Whitby is special ... a fact recognised worldwide.

We aim to preserve and enhance Whitby's rich heritage and ensure all proposals for its development respect its unique charcater.

The present Whitby Civic Society was formed in 1996, although our roots go back further to earlier Civic Societies in the town (for more details please refer to the section entitled HISTORY OF WCS). We are part of a much larger national family through membership of the Civic Voice movement, and are one of the local civic societies and civic trusts around the region that form the regional association of civic societies, namely the Yorkshire and Humber Association of Civic Societies (YHACS), which is supported by Historic England.

We are proactive and managed through our executive committee who meet once a month to discuss any planning issue which might affect the environment of our town. Every aspect of our town is kept under review by liaising with and attending meetings of other relevant organisations and interest groups.

The Society is completely independent of any political, religious, or sectarian bias, and is a registered charity.


  • We arrange a full programme of events including a monthly lecture programme, tours, and visits, as well as publishing a regular Newsletter and various visitor's guides and publications, relevant to the local built environment and area.
  • We host Heritage Open Days with access to private and other properties of historic or special interest which are normally closed to the public.
  • We encourage and acknowledge good quality sympathetic work in the built environment by awarding Certificates of Excellence
  • We act as a consultee for planning applications and scrutinise major planning proposals for new build and changes to conservation areas and listed buildings.
  • We erect Blue Plaques on properties to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event.
  • We take practical action to improve the appearance of Whitby's unique environment. Some examples include surveys - for example surveying street furniture as part of the Whitby Conservation Plan, take joint action in projects with other local interest groups, such as the commissioning of the West Pier Storm Gate, and acting as custodians for the Victorian Spa Well House.
  • We form sub-groups to action relevant projects such as identifying those deserving candidates for Certificates of Excellence & Blue Plaques, to create & develop a website, to identify problems with the ancient Whitby Trods and contact the relevant authorities to correct and maintain them, forming the War Memorial group which has surveyed & logged all the Whitby War Memorials during the 2014-18 project, and the Conservation Group which has worked with Scarborough Borough Council to develop a 'Shop Front' guidance document.
  • We encourage individual members to progress projects such as identifying and providing lectures on the 'Whitby Ghost Signs' or resurrecting memorials such as the 'Morte d'Arthur' memorial.


The Society's supporters include residents, those with Whitby connections, and visitors alike.

We extend a warm welcome to new members to help us to preserve & improve Whitby for future generations.

To find out more, contact our Membership Secretary - refer to the next website section MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM or browse through the whole website, or contact members of the WCS Committee (details are shown under the heading COMMITTEE).

For a detailed description of WCS refer to :-

Our Constitution ... WCS_Constitution_as_of_18th_February_2019.pdf