Founded in 71 AD by the Roman Empire, York was originally christened Eboracum and served as the heart of the Empire on two occasions. Speculation has led historians to believe that this grand city acted as capital of an independent kingdom known as Ebrauc in the time after the Romans retreated right up until the Anglo-Saxons took root in the seventh century and renamed it Eoforwic. Two centuries later, once again the name was changed to Jorvik by the Vikings who rebuilt the city and cultivated the land surrounding it. During this time, Jorvik became the capital of a new Viking kingdom, the Danelaw.
The photo above shows Monk Bar, the largest and most ornate of the four remaining gates leading into central York. While the road arch to the left is a relatively new alteration to the wall, the original gate in the centre has been untouched (except for restoration purposes) with a working portcullis that was in use until 1970, although it can still be seen when you walk through the arch. While the modern city sprawls far beyond the boundaries of the walls, much of York’s history exists within. Many of the buildings still intact from the medieval era now house independent cafés and businesses, which I will discuss here another day. At 271.9 square kilometres, the capital of the north is not one of England’s largest cities, either in terms of land mass or population, despite having one of the greatest histories. As a popular tourist spot in the United Kingdom, York city centre is the perfect place to experience many different cultures, languages and accents.
This page will be dedicated to finding and exploring the numerous secrets York has to offer, including many famous landmarks and many hidden gems both within and without the walls. Beauty exists on the surface of the historical architecture laced throughout the city, but also within the stories hiding beneath the floorboards and in the cracks in the walls, waiting to be uncovered.
By Fearn Britton