York  Yorkshire


In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described York like this:

York, parl. and mun. bor., archiepiscopal city, county town of Yorkshire, and county in itself, 188 miles NW. of London by rail - parl. bor., pop. 61,166; mun. bor., pop. 60,683; 5 Banks, 5 newspapers. Market-days, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The city of York is pleasantly situated in a wide and fertile vale, at a point where the 3 Ridings meet, and where the Foss joins the Ouse, which is here navigable. ...

The ancient part of the city is enclosed by walls, and entered by 4 principal gates. The walls, originally Roman, but restored by Edward I., are still for the most part in good preservation, and have been converted into promenades. The chief architectural feature of York is the minster or cathedral, the largest and finest ecclesiastical edifice in England. As it now exists, it was begun in 1171 and completed in 1472. It is cruciform in shape, with central tower and 2 western towers. Besides the cathedral there are numerous ancient churches and chapels, some of them worthy of notice, as are also the Roman Catholic pro-cathedral of St Wilfrid (1864), and the ruins of the mitred abbey of St Mary (11th century). Among other buildings are the castle, occupied as assize courts and county prison, and the new station of the Great Northern Ry. (1877), one of the finest in the kingdom. York is an important railway centre. There are large cavalry barracks near Fulford, and York has been made the centre of the northern military district. The only public recreation ground is the common of Knavesmire, where the races are held. The trade of York is now mostly local, and the industries are not important, but they include to some extent iron-castings, bottles, combs, gloves, leather, and confectionery. York was the capital of the Brigantes, and then called Caer Effroc; the capital of Roman Britain, and then called Eboracum; and the capital of Northumbria, and then called Eoforwic. In 624 Edwin, king of Northumbria, made it an archiepis-copal see. In the 8th century it was famous for its diocesan school, and it continued to make a distinguished figure in English history until the Civil War, when it was taken by the Parliamentarians after a siege of 13 weeks. Its decline commenced with the Wars of the Roses and the Pilgrimage of Grace, but it still ranks second among English cities, and gives its chief magistrate the title of Lord Mayor. Its first charter of incorporation was granted by Henry I., and the last important event in its municipal history is the extension of the city boundaries by an Act obtained in 1884. It has sent 2 members to Parliament since Henry III.; its parliamentary limits were extended in 1885, so as to include so much of the mun. bor. as was not included in the parl. bor.

York through time

Click here for graphs and data of how York has changed over two centuries. For statistics for historical units named after York go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of York in Yorkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 23rd July 2024

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