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Portfolio > On Location (UK) 1 > Historic York                                                                                Click on an image below to reveal enlarged version

York, Yorkshire, UK

York is a cathedral city and unitary authority area, at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss, in England. The city has long-standing buildings and structures, such as a minstercastle and ancient city walls. It is the county town of historic Yorkshire and was a county corporate, outside of the county's council and the ridingsCity of York Council is a unitary authority responsible for providing all local services and facilities throughout the city and rural areas around the outside of the old city boundaries. The city is in ceremonial North Yorkshire and a non-constituent member of the Leeds city region. The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and later of the kingdoms of DeiraNorthumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool-trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained.[6] In the 19th century, York became a major hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre, a status it maintained well into the 20th century. During the Second World War, York was bombed as part of the Baedeker Blitz; although less affected by bombing than other northern cities, several historic buildings were gutted and restoration efforts continued into the 1960s. The city had a population of 153,717 in the 2011 census and is in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. The unitary authority district, governed from the city, had a mid-2019 est. population of 210,618, the 87th most populous district in England. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether their settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes.

The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state, but later its leaders became more hostile and the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory. The city was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss. The fortress, whose walls were rebuilt in stone by the VI legion based there subsequent to the IX legion, covered an area of 50 acres (20 ha) and was inhabited by 6,000 legionary soldiers. The site of the principia (HQ) of the fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, and excavations in the undercroft have revealed part of the Roman structure and columns.

 

The Emperors HadrianSeptimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay 207–211 AD, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, and it is likely that it was he who granted York the privileges of a 'colonia' or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, and his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress. In 314 AD a bishop from York attended the Council at Arles to represent Christians from the province. While the Roman colonia and fortress were on high ground, by 400 AD the town was victim to occasional flooding from the Rivers Ouse and Foss, and the population reduced. York declined in the post-Roman era, and was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century. Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, and York became his chief city. The first wooden minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627, according to the Venerable Bede.[24] Edwin ordered the small wooden church be rebuilt in stone; however, he was killed in 633, and the task of completing the stone minster fell to his successor Oswald. In the following century, Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York. He had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, founded in 627 AD, and later as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.

The railway promoter George Hudson was responsible for bringing the railway to York in 1839. Although Hudson's career as a railway entrepreneur ended in disgrace and bankruptcy, his promotion of York over Leeds, and of his own railway company (the York and North Midland Railway), helped establish York as a major railway centre by the late 19th century.

 

Former British Rail Offices, demolished in 2018 to be replaced by the Hudson Quarter Development.

The introduction of the railways established engineering in the city.[42][43] At the turn of the 20th century, the railway accommodated the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway, which employed more than 5,500 people. The railway was instrumental in the expansion of Rowntree's Cocoa Works. It was founded in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who was joined in 1869 by his brother the philanthropist Joseph. Another chocolate manufacturer, Terry's of York, was a major employer. By 1900, the railways and confectionery had become the city's two major industries.

 

York was a centre of early photography, as described by Hugh Murray in his 1986 book Photographs and Photographers of York: The Early Years, 1844–79. Photographers who had studios in York included William HayesWilliam Pumphrey, and Augustus Mahalski who operated on Davygate and Low Petergate in the 19th century, having come to England as a refugee after serving as a Polish lancer in the Austro-Hungarian war. In 1942, the city was bombed during the Second World War (part of the Baedeker Blitz) by the German Luftwaffe and 92 people were killed and hundreds injured. Buildings damaged in the raid included the Railway StationRowntree's Factory, Poppleton Road Primary School, St Martin-le-Grand Church, the Bar Convent and the Guildhall which was left in total disrepair until 1960.

With the emergence of tourism, the historic core of York became one of the city's major assets, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area. The existing tourist attractions were supplemented by the establishment of the National Railway Museum in York in 1975, the Jorvik Viking Centre in 1984 and the York Dungeon in 1986. The opening of the University of York in 1963 added to the prosperity of the city. In March 2012, York's Chocolate Story opened.

York was voted European Tourism City of the Year by European Cities Marketing in June 2007, beating 130 other European cities to gain first place, surpassing Gothenburg in Sweden (second) and Valencia in Spain (third). York was also voted safest place to visit in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Choice Awards. In 2018, The Sunday Times deemed York to be its overall 'Best Place to Live' in Britain, highlighting the city's "perfect mix of heritage and hi-tech" and as a "mini-metropolis with cool cafes, destination restaurants, innovative companies – plus the fastest internet in Britain". The result was confirmed in a YouGov survey, reported in August 2018, with 92% of respondents saying that they liked the city, more than any of 56 other British cities.

 

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