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York

City in the United Kingdom

Top 10 York related articles

York

Eboracum, Eoforwic, Jorvik or Everwic
City of York
Flag
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Chocolate City[1]
Motto(s): 
Let the Banner of York Fly High[2]
Shown within North Yorkshire
York
Location within England
York
Location within the United Kingdom
York
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°4′49″W / 53.95833°N 1.08028°W / 53.95833; -1.08028Coordinates: 53°57′30″N 1°4′49″W / 53.95833°N 1.08028°W / 53.95833; -1.08028
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
CountryEngland
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial countyNorth Yorkshire
Historic countyYorkshire
Foundedas Eboracum c. 71 AD
City statusTime immemorial
Unitary status1 April 1996[3]
Administrative centre • York Guildhall
 • West Offices
Government
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyCity of York Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLiberal Democrat and Green coalition
 • Lord MayorJanet Looker (L)
 • Council LeaderKeith Aspden (LD)
Area
 • Total105.00 sq mi (271.94 km2)
Population
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total210,618
 • Rank(Ranked 87th)
 • Density1,780/sq mi (687/km2)
 • Urban
153,717
 • Ethnicity
(2011 Census)[4]
94.3% White
Demonym(s)Yorker • Yorkie[5]
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
Dialling codes01904
ISO 3166-2GB-YOR
ONS code00FF (ONS)
E06000014 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSE603517
NUTS 3UKE21
Primary airportLeeds Bradford Airport (Outside of York)
Councillors47
MPs
Websiteyork.gov.uk

York is a cathedral city and unitary authority area at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss in England. At the 2011 census, the borough population was 198,051 and the population of the city was 153,717. The city has long-standing buildings and structures, such as a minster, castle and ancient city walls.

The city is the head settlement of historic Yorkshire and was its own county corporate. City 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 also included in North Yorkshire and 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 Deira, Northumbria 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.[7]

York Intro articles: 16

History

Origin of the name

The word York (Old Norse: Jórvík) is derived from the Brittonic name Eburākon (Latinised variously as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci), a combination of eburos "yew-tree" (compare Old Irish ibar "yew-tree" (Irish iobhar, iubhar, iúr; Scottish Gaelic iubhar), Welsh efwr "alder buckthorn", Breton evor "alder buckthorn") and a suffix of appurtenance *-āko(n) "belonging to-, place of-" (compare Welsh -og)[8] meaning either "place of the yew trees" (efrog in Welsh, Old Irish iubrach "grove of yew trees, place with one or more yew trees", iúrach in Irish Gaelic and iùbhrach in Scottish Gaelic; the city itself is called Eabhrach (Irish) and Eabhraig in those languages, from the Latin Eboracum); or alternatively, "the settlement of (a man named) Eburos" (a Celtic personal name is mentioned in different documents as Eβουρος, Eburus and Eburius and, when combined with the Celtic possessive suffix *-āko(n), could be used to denote his property).[9][8]

The name Eboracum became the Anglian Eoforwic in the 7th century: a compound of Eofor-, from the old name, and -wic a village, probably by conflation of the element Ebor- with a Germanic root *eburaz ('boar'); by the 7th century the Old English for 'boar' had become eofor. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, its name became Jórvík.[10]

The Old French and Norman name of the city following the Norman Conquest was recorded as Everwic (modern Norman Évèroui) in works such as Wace's Roman de Rou.[11] Jórvík, meanwhile, gradually reduced to York in the centuries after the Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk in the 14th century through Yourke in the 16th century to Yarke in the 17th century. The form York was first recorded in the 13th century.[6][12] Many company and place names, such as the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Latinised Brittonic, Roman name.[13]

The 12th‑century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his fictional account of the prehistoric kings of Britain, Historia Regum Britanniae, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus.[14]

The Archbishop of York uses Ebor as his surname in his signature.[15]

Early history

Roman wall and the west corner tower of Eboracum. The top half is medieval.

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.[16]

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.[10][17]

The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius 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.[17][18] In 314 AD a bishop from York attended the Council at Arles to represent Christians from the province.[19]

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.[20] York declined in the post-Roman era, and was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century.[21]

Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, and York became his chief city.[22] The first wooden minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627, according to the Venerable Bede.[23] 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.[10][24] 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.[25]

In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.[26] As a thriving Anglo-Saxon metropolis and prosperous economic hub, York was a clear target for the Vikings. Led by Ivar the Boneless and Halfdan, Scandinavian forces attacked the town on All Saints' Day. Launching the assault on a holy day proved an effective tactical move – most of York's leaders were in the cathedral, leaving the town vulnerable to attack and unprepared for battle. After it was conquered, the city was renamed from the Saxon Eoforwic to Jorvik. It became the capital of Viking territory in Britain, and at its peak boasted more than 10,000 inhabitants. This was a population second only to London within Great Britain. Jorvik proved an important economic and trade centre for the Vikings. Norse coinage was created at the Jorvik mint, while archaeologists have found evidence of a variety of craft workshops around the town's central Coppergate area. These demonstrate that textile production, metalwork, carving, glasswork and jewellery-making were all practised in Jorvik. Materials from as far afield as the Arabian Gulf have also been discovered, suggesting that the town was part of an international trading network.[27]

After the conquest

A panorama of 15th-century York by E Ridsdale Tate, York Castle is on the right hand side of the river, opposite the abandoned motte of Baile Hill

In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, the people of York rebelled. Initially they succeeded, but upon the arrival of William the Conqueror the rebellion was put down. William at once built a wooden fortress on a motte. In 1069, after another rebellion, the king built another timbered castle across the River Ouse. These were destroyed in 1069 and rebuilt by William about the time of his ravaging Northumbria in what is called the "Harrying of the North" where he destroyed everything from York to Durham. The remains of the rebuilt castles, now in stone, are visible on either side of the River Ouse.[28][29]

The first stone minster church was badly damaged by fire in the uprising, and the Normans built a minster on a new site. Around the year 1080, Archbishop Thomas started building the cathedral that in time became the current Minster.[24]

Clifford's Tower, part of York Castle

In the 12th century York started to prosper. In 1190, York Castle was the site of an infamous massacre of its Jewish inhabitants, in which at least 150 Jews died (although some authorities put the figure as high as 500).[30][31]

The city, through its location on the River Ouse and its proximity to the Great North Road, became a major trading centre. King John granted the city's first charter in 1212,[32] confirming trading rights in England and Europe.[24][33] During the later Middle Ages, York merchants imported wine from France, cloth, wax, canvas, and oats from the Low Countries, timber and furs from the Baltic and exported grain to Gascony and grain and wool to the Low Countries.[34]

York became a major cloth manufacturing and trading centre. Edward I further stimulated the city's economy by using the city as a base for his war in Scotland. The city was the location of significant unrest during the so-called Peasants' Revolt in 1381. The city acquired an increasing degree of autonomy from central government including the privileges granted by a charter of Richard II in 1396.

16th to 18th centuries

A portion of the ruins of St Mary's Abbey, York, founded in 1155, extensively damaged by fire in 1157, rebuilt by 1294 and destroyed during the Dissolution, c. 1539

The city underwent a period of economic decline during Tudor times. Under King Henry VIII, the Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the end of York's many monastic houses, including several orders of friars, the hospitals of St Nicholas and of St Leonard, the largest such institution in the north of England. This led to the Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising of northern Catholics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire opposed to religious reform. Henry VIII restored his authority by establishing the Council of the North in York in the dissolved St Mary's Abbey. The city became a trading and service centre during this period.[35][36]

Guy Fawkes, who was born and educated in York, was a member of a group of Roman Catholic restorationists that planned the Gunpowder Plot.[37] Its aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliament while King James I, the entire Protestant, and even most of the Catholic aristocracy and nobility were inside.

A map of York, 1611

In 1644, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians besieged York, and many medieval houses outside the city walls were lost. The barbican at Walmgate Bar was undermined and explosives laid, but the plot was discovered. On the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some 6 miles (10 km) from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and soundly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moor. Of Rupert's 15,000 troops, 4,000 were killed and 1,500 captured. The siege was renewed and the city surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax[35] on 15 July.

Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and the removal of the garrison from York in 1688, the city was dominated by the gentry and merchants, although the clergy were still important. Competition from Leeds and Hull, together with silting of the River Ouse, resulted in York losing its pre-eminent position as a trading centre, but its role as the social and cultural centre for wealthy northerners was rising. York's many elegant townhouses, such as the Lord Mayor's Mansion House and Fairfax House date from this period, as do the Assembly Rooms, the Theatre Royal, and the racecourse.[36][38]

Modern history

The Great hall at the National Railway Museum

mak all t'railways cum to York

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.[40]

The introduction of the railways established engineering in the city.[41][42] 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.[43] Another chocolate manufacturer, Terry's of York, was a major employer.[36][44] By 1900, the railways and confectionery had become the city's two major industries.[42]

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.[45] Buildings damaged in the raid included the Railway Station, Rowntree'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.

Low Petergate with the cathedral in the background
Clementhorpe works (now demolished)

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.[46] The existing tourist attractions were supplemented by the establishment of the National Railway Museum in York in 1975,[47] the Jorvik Viking Centre in 1984[48] and the York Dungeon in 1986.[49] The opening of the University of York in 1963 added to the prosperity of the city.[50] In March 2012, York's Chocolate Story opened.[51]

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).[52] York was also voted safest place to visit in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Choice Awards.[53] 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".[54][55] 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.[56]


On January 31st 2020, the first 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom were confirmed in York. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China. It went to become one of the most devastating pandemics in human history and killed over 50 thousand people in the United Kingdom.

Early photography

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 Hayes, William 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.[57][58]

York History articles: 131

Governance

Local government

York Guildhall is the seat of local government

The City of York is governed by the City of York Council. It is a unitary authority that operates on a leader and cabinet style of governance, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. The city council consists of 47 councillors[59][60] representing 21 wards, with two or three per ward serving four-year terms. Its headquarters are at the Guildhall and West Offices in the city centre.

York is divided into 21 administrative wards: Acomb, Bishopthorpe, Clifton, Copmanthorpe, Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington, Guildhall, Haxby and Wigginton, Heworth, Heworth Without, Holgate, Hull Road, Huntington and New Earswick, Micklegate, Osbaldwick and Derwent, Rawcliffe and Clifton Without, Rural West York, Strensall, Westfield, and Wheldrake.[61]

The members of the cabinet, led by the Council Leader, makes decisions on their portfolio areas individually.[62][63] Following the Local Government Act 2000, the Council Leader commands the confidence of the city council; the leader of the largest political group and head of the City of York Council. The Leader of the council and the cabinet (consisting of all the executive councillors) are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the city council. The current Council Leader, Liberal Democrats' Cllr Keith Aspden, was appointed on 22 May 2019, following the 2019 City of York Council election.

The Mansion House is home to the Lord Mayor of York

York's first citizen and civic head is the Lord Mayor, who is the chairman of the City of York Council. The appointment is made by the city council each year in May, at the same time appointing the Sheriff, the city's other civic head. The offices of Lord Mayor and Sheriff are purely ceremonial. The Lord Mayor carries out civic and ceremonial duties in addition to chairing full council meetings.[60] The incumbent Lord Mayor since 22 May 2019 is Councillor Janet Looker, and the Sheriff is Jo Trythall.[64]

York Youth Council consists of several young people who negotiate with the councillors to get better facilities for York's young people, and who also elect York's Member of Youth Parliament.[65][66]

As a result of the 2019 City of York Council election the Conservative Party was reduced to two seats. The Liberal Democrats had 21 councillors. The Labour Party had 17 councillors and the Green Party had four with three Independents.[67] Due to no overall control, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party agreed to form a coalition on 14 May 2019.[68]

Party Seats City of York Council (2019 election)
Liberal Democrats 21                                            
Labour 17                                    
Green 4          
Conservative 2      
Independent 3        

York is the traditional county town of Yorkshire, and therefore did not form part of any of its three historic ridings, or divisions. Its Mayor has had the status of Lord Mayor since 1370. York is an ancient borough, and was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 to form a municipal borough. It gained the status of a county borough in 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, and existed so until 1974, when, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became a non-metropolitan district in the county of North Yorkshire, whilst retaining its Lord Mayor, its Sheriff and Aldermen.[69][70] As a result of 1990s UK local government reform, York regained unitary status and saw a substantial alteration in its borders, taking in parts of Selby and Harrogate districts, and about half the population of the Ryedale district.[71] The new boundary was imposed after central government rejected the former city council's own proposal.

Parliamentary constituencies

Rachael Maskell (L), MP
for York Central since 2015
Julian Sturdy (C), MP
for York Outer since 2010

From 1997 to 2010, the central part of the district was covered by the City of York constituency, while the remainder was split between the constituencies of Ryedale, Selby, and Vale of York.[72] These constituencies were represented by Hugh Bayley, John Greenway, John Grogan, and Anne McIntosh respectively.

Following their review in 2003 of parliamentary representation in North Yorkshire, the Boundary Commission for England recommended the creation of two new seats for the City of York, in time for the general election in 2010. These are York Central, which covers the inner urban area, and is entirely surrounded by the York Outer constituency.[73]

Ceremonial governance

York is within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire and was formerly within the jurisdiction of the Lord Lieutenant of the County of York, West Riding and the County of The City of York. The city does retain the right to appoint its own Sheriff. The holder of the Royal dukedom of York has no responsibilities either ceremonially or administratively as regards to the city.

York Governance articles: 73