If the northern England city of York could be defined in a single world, that would be ‘’historical’’. Ever since the city’s foundation by Roman settlers, there is no doubt that this English wonder exhales historical glamour from every corner. From street names dating back all the way to their Viking era roots, to the remains of ancient Roman and Norman forts and walls still standing up proud and strong even after thousands of years. To simply mention them would be a disservice to York’s cultural legacy. There is so much history to enjoy that it would be impossible for anyone to see all it has to offer in a single day. Any history buff looking to enjoy some sensational sightseeing would do well to stop by these places you cannot afford to miss on your next trip to Northern England.
Roaming around Eboracum
The city of York as we know it was originally founded in 71 AD as a Roman settlement named Eboracum. Considered as one of Roman Britain’s major centres, it once served the functions of a military stronghold and an administrative centre up the Northern provinces. It even served as a home for certain Roman emperors such as Constantine The Great or Septimus Severus. New Roman ruins are constantly discovered and unearthed, so often that neighbours nowadays barely bat an eye whenever new findings are excavated.
Many Roman history enthusiasts will be thrilled to see all the ruins this city has to offer, such as:
- Ancient Roman walls dating back to Constantius I.
- A bath house discovered in 1930 in the cellar of the now appropriately named The Roman Bath pub
- The Roman Column located outside the Minster
- The Undercroft of York Minster
- The Multangular Tower.
During the Anglo-Saxon era in Britain, York was conquered by Danish Vikings. They claimed southern Northumbria and established The Kingdom of Jorvik with the newly rechristened city of Jorvik as its capital. This kingdom would last from 875 to 954 when Eric Bloodaxe was expelled from York and killed shortly after. It is no surprise then that there are still remnants of Scandinavian culture found across York.
Even though little remnants of Viking presence remain in current Yorkshire, the Jorvik Viking Centre pays tribute to York’s Viking past. This is done by effectively re-creating life in 10th century York through tableaus and animatronics. You can see reconstructions of how markets, houses, meals and even latrines were in the Viking era. Further on you can also find an extensive museum area where you can see an exhibition various artefacts from Viking Jorvik.
A Night at the Museum
If you are keen on historical artefacts and antiquities, you must visit the Yorkshire’s finest museums and art galleries. The York Museum Trust manages the York Art Gallery, The York Castle Museum, York St Mary’s and Yorkshire Museum and the Museum Gardens, which you will be more than welcome to visit to your hearts content. Among the architectural findings in the Yorkshire Museum you can find numerous exhibitions and collections that include ancient Viking, Anglo-Saxon and Roman remnants. These contain coins, swords and even dice used in gambling. Nowadays, more games further than dice exist, like the roulette. However, it is important to learn the roulette odds and the rules and odds of other games before playing.
Listen to the Streets
If you play close attention, you will undoubtedly find much history on the very streets when you explore the city of York. Not only are medieval architectural marvels such as the Yorkshire Minster always available, but also streets like The Shambles, which inspired H.K Rowling’s emblematic Diagon Alley. There are countless themed tours that will educate you on the city’s history. From city cruise boats to Ghost tours, there is something for everyone.