by John Moss
unless otherwise credited
Historic City of York
Trips out from Manchester to Yorkshire
In many ways
the history of York is the history of England. Located on the other
side of the Pennine Hills from Lancashire, about a 1½ hour
journey by car along the M62 Motorway or by train from Manchester,
York is a city crammed with history, and many things for the visitor
to see. York is an old city.
The West Front York Minster; The Shambles; St William's College
First as a Roman
city (Eboracum, built around 71-73 AD), later as a Danish
and Viking stronghold (around 600 AD, and by then known as Yorvik),
then as a medieval one, with its political and religious intrigues
(and regarded as important enough for the Archbishop of York to
be declared Primate of England by the Pope around 735 AD), and finally
as an elegant Jacobean and Georgian town of great beauty.
York Minster. Aerial photograoh provided courtesy of Webb Aviation
All rights reserved - www.webbaviation.co.uk
was the birthplace of Guy Fawkes (who tried to blow up the Houses
of Parliament) and the final resting place of the highwayman, Dick
Turpin, who was hanged and is buried there. It was also in York that
the Constantine the Great was declared Emperor of the Roman Empire.
Danes in York
Danish heritage of York is everywhere, surviving in its streetnames
- Monksgate, Micklegate, Stonegate, Swinegate, Newgate, etc - the
"gate" suffix coming from the Danish word "gat"
meaning "street" (and not as many suppose "a
gate"). It is often said in jest that in York ..."all the
streets are "Gates", the gates are called "Bars",
and the bars are all pubs." At one time there were 10,000 people
in the Danish settlement of Yorvick, and it was here that Danish kings
lived to rule over Northumbria for more than 50 years.
the city is York Minster, arguably Britain's finest gothic cathedral,
and the largest in Northern Europe. Begun in 1220 and not completed
until 1472 it illustrates graphically the rivalry that existed between
Canterbury and York for the Primacy of the Church of England - each
trying desperately to outdo the other in scale and grandeur. The Minster
is too imposing to miss out of any itinerary of the City. Entrance
is free, though donations to the upkeep are welcomed, and access is
limited, particularly during religious services. The undercroft is
also worth visiting, offering insights into the original Roman settlement
lying beneath the Minster, as is a trip up to the roof with its panoramic
views of the City and over the Vale of York - both of these charge
an entrance fee. Entry to the Minster itself now requests a 'voluntary'
suggested payment of around £3.50 (GBP) per person -
that, apparently, is calculated on the basis of the cost of maintaining
building and the number of visitors who arrive annually!
York frequently received visits from the King and Parliament, and
many surviving institutions, like the Minster, St Peter's School,
St William's College and The Merchant Adventurers Company have an
unbroken history since medieval times. Other important features of
the city are the City Walls and streets like the Shambles. The old
city walls are intact for about 60% of the perimeter, although the
city has stretched far beyond its original boundaries; the walls are
well worth a walk, offering splendid elevated aspects of the townscape
and the Minster. The Shambles is an old narrow shopping street of
great charm and character - well worth a visit just for the window
William's college has an elegant teashop on the green overlooking
the Minster and is a popular rest for refreshments, (accompanied
by musical entertainments performed by minstrels).
to the Emperor Constantine; Monk Bar; York Minster.
If you are looking
for accommodation or other information about visits to York, there
are Tourist Information Centres at:
De Grey Rooms:
Exhibition Square, York YO1 2HB. Tel: 01904-621756
York Railway Station: Fax: 01904-626173.
Website: www.york-tourism.co.uk. Email: email@example.com
Places of Interest
and Things to Do in York
1 day tour including overnight hotel (bed, breakfast and evening
meal included. See: Northern
Guided boat trips on the river throughout from springtime to early
autumn, including floodlit evening cruises, summer nights afloat
and self drive motor boats. For details: Tel: 01904 628324.
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.yorkboat.co.uk.
Coppergate, York YO1 9WT.
Tel: 01904-643211 (24hrs information). Advance Bookings: 01904-543403
A journey of discovery into Danish life deep below the street of
York. A recreation of the Viking City of 948 AD.
Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ. Tel: 01904-621261. Website: www.nrm.org.uk.
Children under 16 and the over-60s go in free. Winner of the White
Rose Tourism Awards 1999. Extensive collection of engines and rolling
stock including royal carriages and steam engines.
Fossgate, York YO1 9XD. Tel: 01904-654818. Email: email@example.com
Europe's finest medieval guild hall built in 1357. Available for
hire for weddings, receptions and dinners, and licenced for civil
The Eye of York, York YO1 9RY. Tel: 01904-653611. Fax: 01904-671078.
Recreations of cobbled streets and collections of costumes and textiles
as well as artefacts from military and social history through the
Museum Gardens, York YO1 7FR. Tel: 01904-629745. Fax: 01904-651221.
Set in the midst of 10 acres of beautiful gardens, the museum contains
some of the finest collections of European archaeology from Anglo-Saxon
to modern times.