Eboracum /Jorvik






The site for York, now a walled city built on the floodplain at the convergence of the River Foss and the River Ouse, was selected by the Romans because the marshy land made it easy to defend, although there is evidence of Mesolithic tribes in the area earlier, between 8000 and 7000 BCE. York has always been prone to flooding right up to recently despite various flood defence systems introduced.


Its name has developed over millenia, thought to have originated as Eborakon (from the  Brythonic) under the Brigantian Tribes who ruled the north, it was changed to Eboracum by the Romans, the Saxons called it Eoforwic,  and the Vikings Jorvik which was gradually rendered to York via various mediaeval spellings.


Although the city was founded by the Romans in 71 CE, when the IXth Legion defeated the ruling Brigantian tribes, the first reference to Eboracum is  dated around 100 CE, and was found on a clay tablet at the Vindolanda fortress on Hadrian's Wall.


The Emperors Hadrian, Severus and Constantius used York as a base during their time in Britain, Severus making it the provincial capital. When Constantius died in York in 306 CE the troops their declared his son Constantine as the new Emperor, with the subsequent dire consequences!


When the Romans deserted Britain in 415 CE York reverted back to Anglo Saxon rule,  and by the 7th century York had become the accepted capital of Northumbria, when the first wooden church, which over centuries has developed into the Minster, was built for the baptism of King Edwin in 627.


This first dabble at Xtianity came to an abrupt end in 866 when the Vikings sailed up the river from the North Sea and stamped their authority on it, by turning it into a major seaport trading throughout Europe. The Viking rule lasted until 954 CE when the Anglo Saxon King Edred successfully conquered all England. A century later however all was to change again.


The Norman conquest was to bring much growth to York as they made its church second only to Canterbury, and established many monasteries in the principality, producing and exporting wool via it's river port. However following an uprising in York it was ravaged as part of the "harrying of the north."


History wise, York tells a lot of stories, like the burning and suicide of 150 Jews in the wooden keep on the castle motte, since replaced by Clifford's Tower, in 1190. The castle also presented the final act in the reigns of Essex highwayman Dick Turpin, and Hebden Bridge coiner and murderer "King" David Harley. Whilst local man Guido Fawkes, who became involved with catholic reactionaries prior to his failure at the Houses of Parliament, travelled in the opposite direction, meeting his untimely end by committing suicide on the gallows at Westminster.


York was also the venue for much activity during the Civil War when during a siege of the city, the Royalists were heavily beaten at the battle of Marston Moor, and the city surrendered.


During the Industrial Revolution York became a central hub in the railway network, and was duly awarded the National Railway Museum in 1975.




The Minster from the Yorkshire Wheel


Clifford's Tower


The Abbey


Treasurers House


The Shambles


Mallard in the Railway Museum


The Yorkshire Wheel (Since removed)





Britain Tour