The Offices of Seaton Gray Bell & Bagshawe at number 38 Flowergate date back to the 16th century. Although the buildings front was totally remodeled in the late 1800’s it escaped the demolition fate of many adjoining buildings.
In 1636 the building was being used as a court house and a house of correction, but this use had ended by 1654, as records appear to show that other tenants had taken over.
It is reported that the building was used as a police station at sometime, but this had finished by 1853 when it was taken over by solicitors.
One of the first solicitors to use the building was William Seaton Gray, who with his partner Robert Eliott Pannett formed the firm Gray And Pannett.
Over the years the firms name changed with various partners coming and going. 38 Flowergate finally became Seaton Gray Belle And Bagshawe after the second world war
Mr Vivian Seaton Gray, the founders grandson, died in 1949. Robert Storey Bell passed away in 1961
George Bagshawe joined the firm in the 1930’s and in February of 1990 celebrated 60 years in the profession. Mr Bagshawe was still active in the business until shortly before his death in 1994 at the age of 89.
The firm continued to trade until its demise in Spring 202, sadly just missing its 150th anniversary.
The names associated with 38 Flowergate are still significant in Whitby, with local schools competing for the Seaton Gray Cup in and interschool football competition.
Perhaps more well known is the local Park donated to the town by Robert Elliott Pannett .Whitby born and bred, Pannett was one of Whitby’s most generous benefactors. His name appears in several parts of the town still, most noticeably in the charming hillside Park and handsome Art Gallery which were built, with money and assets he bequeathed, for the benefit of local people and visitors alike.