The “Summer Queen” leaving Whitby harbour. From the earliest days of seafaring, boats moored on the River Esk must have needed some protection from the Northern gales. The earliest record of a pier at Whitby is in a document dated 1190. In the 17th century Sir Hugh Cholmeley, who changed sides during the English Civil War, ending up on the wrong side, had the pier rebuilt. Throughout the succeeding centuries the sea defences were gradually improved until finally in the early part of the 19th century the curved outer Pier Extensions were built and which are currently in a poor state of repair.