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For articles about other uses of York, see York (disambiguation).

City of York
Status: Unitary, City
Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial County: North Yorkshire
- Total
Ranked 166th
271.94 km²
Admin. HQ: York
ONS code: 00FF
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
Ranked 76th
671 / km²
Ethnicity: 97.8% White
York City Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
Executive: Liberal Democrats
MPs: Hugh Bayley, John Greenway, John Grogan

York is a city in the north of England built at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. In 1991 the city had a population of 123,126. Its geographic coordinates are 53°57' North, 1°05' West.

York is the traditional county town of Yorkshire, to which it lends its name. However, it did not form part of any of the three ridings of Yorkshire. The modern City of York, created on April 1, 1996, is a unitary authority and an administrative county in its own right. As well as York itself, it includes a number of neighbouring parishes which formerly belonged to the surrounding districts of Harrogate, Ryedale and Selby. It borders on North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Table of contents
1 History and Tourism
2 Modern York
3 Etymology
4 York and Quakers
5 Places of interest (City Centre)
6 Places of interest (Suburbs and Villages)
7 Districts, towns, villages
8 Notable People from York
9 External links

History and Tourism

York is renowned for its history, which is preserved in its architecture. The city was founded over 2000 years ago, and for much of the intervening period has been the main city in the North of England. Every year, thousands of tourists flock to see the surviving medieval buildings, interspersed with Roman and Viking remains. The City Council has 27 Conservation Areas, no fewer than 2084 Listed buildings and 20 Scheduled Ancient Monuments in its care.

For the Romans, York was a major military base; Emperor Septimius Severus died there in 211 AD, and Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine I, died there in 306.

A "great Viking army" captured York in AD 866, and in 876 the Vikings settled permanently in parts of the Yorkshire countryside. Viking kings ruled this area, known to historians as "The Viking Kingdom of Jorvik", for almost a century. In 954 the last Viking king, Eric Bloodaxe, was expelled and his kingdom was incorporated in the newly consolidated state of England.

On March 16, 1190 a mob of townsfolk massacred the Jews of York. The Jews were driven to the fortified Clifford's Tower where they committed mass suicide rather than die at the hands of their attackers. It is said that the stone walls of the tower turned red with their blood.

York Minster is the largest medieval cathedral in England, and dominates the city's skyline, while surrounding York's centre are the city walls, built by Henry III in 1220.

Another popular tourist attraction is the Shambles, an old street with overhanging timber-built shops, now occupied by souvenir shops as opposed to the original butchers. York is also home to numerous Ghost Walks where tourists can learn about York's folklore.

Modern York

As well a tourist destination, modern York is a centre of communications, education and manufacturing. It is a major
railway junction, situated on the East Coast, Cross Country and Transpennine mainlines. Two large factories make chocolate (Nestlé Rowntree and Terry's), while another refines sugar. York is the home of Kit Kat, Smarties, the Chocolate Orange and the eponymous Yorkie bar. However, in April 2004, Terry's announced their intention to close their York-based operations.

The city has one of the country's leading universities (the University of York), a higher education college (York St John College) and a branch of the College of Law. The City's football team (York City) was relegated from the Football League to the Nationwide Conference at the end of the 2003/4 season. The York area is served by a local newspaper, the Yorkshire Evening Press.

York is also noted for its wealth of pubs. The York area is said to contain one pub for every day of the year, although this is now a little exaggerated. It is said, with perhaps a touch of poetic licence, that there is no point within the city walls where one can stand and not be able to see at least one pub and at least one church.

The city is prone to severe flooding from the River Ouse, and has an extensive (but not always effective) network of flood defences. These include walls along the Ouse and a barrier across the Foss (see River Foss). Much land within the city has always been too flood-prone for development. Partly as a result of this, there is an unusual amount of green space. The ings are flood meadows along the River Ouse, while the strays are scattered around the city in marshy, low-lying places; another such area is the Knavesmire. In summer, when they are drier, these areas are used for recreation, and some are grazed by cattles.


This city was originally named by the Celts after the Yew tree. The Yew was Efrawg in Brythonic, Efrog in Welsh, Eabhrac in Irish Gaelic, Iorc in Scottish Gaelic, and Eboracum/Eburacum in Latin (after the Romans seized it). The next people to assume ownership of the city assumed that the earlier name meant "boar" because the way it sounded to them like the Germanic "Eber-"/"Ever-", which is why the Deira Angles translated the local names into Eofer-wic/Eofor-wic for their capital which became Northumbria's centre of power later on. The Danes and their Norse counterparts just assumed that the city's local name was the way they should format their term for it, thus calling it Jorvik (pronounced Yor-vik in modern English), which eventually changed to York after the Normans introduced their hybridised tongue to the land. "Wic"/"Vik" means a fishing port, most notably in an estuary so could also be described a river port. See Viking.

York and Quakers

York has a long association with the 
Religious Society of Friends. The York-born Quaker chocolate entrepreneurs and social reformers Joseph Rowntree and Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree left an indelible mark on the city, through both their business interests and their philanthropy. They built the village of New Earswick to provide quality affordable housing for their employees. They also founded two Quaker schools, and contributed in large part to the building of York Public Library and the creation of Rowntree Park.

Four trusts, funded from the Rowntree legacies, are based in York:

Another notable York Quaker was the sculptor Austin Wright. The Retreat, opened in 1796 by William Tuke (great-grandfather of the painter Henry Scott Tuke), is a large Quaker mental hospital in the Walmgate area of the city.

Places of interest (City Centre)

'' locomotive, National Railway Museum]]

Places of interest (Suburbs and Villages)

Districts, towns, villages

Notable People from York

External links

Districts of England - Yorkshire and the Humber
Barnsley | Bradford | Calderdale | Craven | Doncaster | East Riding of Yorkshire | Hambleton | Harrogate | Hull | Kirklees | Leeds | North Lincolnshire | North East Lincolnshire | Richmondshire | Rotherham | Ryedale | Scarborough | Selby | Sheffield | Wakefield | York
Administrative counties with multiple districts: North Yorkshire - South Yorkshire - West Yorkshire