As some of you already know, I like to find various oddities from around East Yorkshire and post them onto this site.
Well, here is a good one.
In 1825 a 58.5 foot-long Sperm Whale was washed up on the East Yorkshire coast at a place called Tunstall. This was a big mammal and was an even bigger deal. Scientists came from all over the place just to examine and dissect the beast. A few weeks later the whale was nothing more than just bone. At this time the Lord Constable had the right to claim anything that was washed up on the Holderness coast. He claimed it, and a while later the remains of the whale got sent to the Burton Constable estate, East Yorkshire.
The Whale is still here today displayed in the Great Barn.
So, of course, I go up and take a look around.
Here we are
Cracking place, this is a view from the North
In the stable section of Burton Constable, we find the Great Barn.
The Burton Constable Whale
And from the other angle
Yes, this whopping great thing now resides in a barn, but it has been displayed all over the place. It actually got excavated from the gardens of the house in 1996 after it had been left outside for many years.
Herman Melville, the writer of the 1851 book Moby Dick was said to be inspired by descriptions made of the Burton Constable Whale… He even mentions it in the actual book. He writes:
…at a place in Yorkshire, England, Burton Constable by name, a certain Sir Clifford Constable has in his possession the skeleton of a Sperm Whale…Sir Clifford’s whale has been articulated throughout; so that like a great chest of drawers, you can open and shut him, in all his long cavities – spread out his ribs like a gigantic fan – and swing all day upon his lower jaw. Locks are to be put upon some of his trap doors and shutters; and a footman will show round future visitors with a bunch of keys at his side. Sir Clifford thinks of charging twopence for a peep at the whispering gallery in the spinal column; threepence to hear the echo in the hollow of his cerebellum; and sixpence for the unrivalled view from his forehead.
Upon dissecting the whale, scientists found a spear of a swordfish in its back, and they also found an infected wound caused by a harpoon. Interesting or what!!!!