St Hilda was a Northumbrian royal brought up at the court of King Edwin. She was one of the many who were baptised at York along with the king in 627. On his death however she was forced to seek exile. St Aidan encouraged her to return and to live as a nun in Northumbria. She was soon made abbess of Hartlepool. She became the founding abbess of the monastery at Whitby (Streoneshalh). Both monasteries were double monasteries of men and women. She trained several men to be bishops, including St John of Beverley and St Wilfred. She encouraged the herdsman Caedmon to use his poetical gifts. She also founded the monastery at Hackness not far from Whitby.
There is a holy well at Hinderwell (Hildrewell) There is another at Harkness