York Visitor Guide - The History Of York
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HISTORY OF YORK

ROMAN YORK
Our History Of York commences with the invasion of the city by The Romans in AD71. The Romans under Roman Governor of Britain, Quintus Petilius Cerealis quickly settled in the uncivilized North and spent over four centuries ruling York. They turned the city into one of the leading cities of The Roman Empire. Eboracum as York was known grew from a small fortress into a walled town of around fifty acres with about 6000 legionairies.

SAXON AND VIKING YORK
When the Romans withdrew from Britain York fell into some decline. In the fifth century The Saxons arrived and renamed Eboracum as Eoforwic and the city started to grow again. When The Vikings arrived and captured the city in 866 they renamed the city Jorvik. By the 11th Century the population had increased to around 10,000. However, these were troubled times in the North of England and successive rebellions and conflicts resulted in the Battle Of Stamford Bridge. Soon after the whole of Britain was under the hands of The Normans.

THE MIDDLE AGES
Following the Norman Conquest a wooden castle was built in York and a second castle followed. All that remains today are the mounds on which the castles were built. Commerce thrived during The Middle Ages and York became a major producer of wool and leather. There were also two annual fairs where people from all over the surrounding area would visit to buy and sell merchandise.  In 1349 the city was decimated by The Black Death which resulted in the demise of half of the population. However during The Middle Ages many of York's finest and historic buildings were erected.

THE 16TH AND 17TH CENTURIES
York continued to grow and by around 1600 the population was about 12,000. There were several outbreaks of plague during this time. In 1642 Civil War erupted and York solidly supported King Charles. A Parliamentary army of around 40,000 started the siege of York and after some success at Marston Moor the city surrendered in 1644. During the siege many important buildings were destroyed.

THE 18TH CENTURY
As York's population slowly increased the city became more of a market town than industrial centre with many different small traders competing. Many of Yorkshire's aristocracy and gentry resided in the city and many fine homes and public building were built during this period. York slowly became the social and cultural centre for the North. York's first newspaper was launched in 1719 and the first theatre in 1736.

THE 19TH CENTURY
At the start of the century the population was around the railways came to York in 1839 and was not long before York was a major railway centre and by the end of the century over 5000 workers were employed.

 

 

 
 
 
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