York – Alive with vibrant history Part 2

We continue our exploration of the ‘Eternal City’ of York with its exquisite architecture and tangle of quaint cobbled streets, the staggering result of Viking and Roman influence …

Part one of our journey began here.  Find accommodation in York.

The Jorvik Viking Centre is built on the site of Jorvik, the Viking City founded in AD 867. Relics found during the excavations are used in the reconstruction of Viking life. Everything in the Centre is based on evidence found during the 1979 excavations of an old sweet factory and discovered the remains. Spongy moist layers helped to preserve everyday items such as clothes, leather bags and wood along with a Viking toilet. 40,000 objects were found through 36,000 layers and 8 tons of soil. An old Viking street has been recreated with animated models and actors, transporting visitors back in time to where it actually stood over 1000 years ago.

Cliffords Tower in the grounds of York Castle Museum is a 13th century Keep from the ruins of York Castle. Built by Henry III on an artificial mound set in place by William the Conqueror, the original construction being a wooden tower which guarded the River Ouse. Some of the finest views of the city can be seen from the top.

York Clifford's Tower
York Clifford’s Tower www.touring-britain.heralded.co.uk

York Dungeon beholds a 75-minute journey into more than 2000 years of York’s grisly history using theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes in a thrilling walkthrough experience titillating all senses. Shows takes one on a journey from the Saxons and Vikings, through medieval justice and health, introducing Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin, all set in a red bricked converted building in Clifford Street.

Roman Bath Inn, once called the ‘Mail Coach Inn’ with 1930 renovations in a tavern on St Sampson’s, York, revealing the remains of a caldarium, a steam bath, and a neighbouring plunge bath. Accessed through the Roman Bath pub, the find show remains of the baths with Roman artefacts and replica articles of everyday life. Some tiles appear to show the seal of the 9th Roman legion,who founded the city of Eboracum in 71 AD.

York from the Minster (c) https://www.flickr.com/photos/fionasjournal/

Bettys Café Tea Rooms on St Helen’s Square has beautiful interiors inspired by the Queen Mary ocean liner. The original brainchild of Frederick Belmont, a Swiss confectioner, baker and chocolatier who came to England to seek his fortune; he set up his first shop in Harrogate. There is also an outlet in Stonegate. York’s fame and fortune rested on chocolate for almost 300 years through the vision  of its great entrepreneurial families, a story told in interactive detail at York’s Chocolate Story.

Grade one listed Fairfax House is a Georgian townhouse located in Castlegate, York, England, near Clifford’s Tower and York Castle Museum, now a museum open to the public. Boasting the finest Georgian townhouse in England, it hosts a beautiful collection of furniture and furnishings, richly decorated interiors and magnificent stucco ceilings.

York The Shambles
York The Shambles

With overhanging timber-framed buildings, some dating back as far as the fourteenth century, the ‘Great Flesh Shambles‘  had twenty-five butchers’ shops located along the street as recently as 1872, but now none remain. A number of the shops on the street still have meat-hooks hanging outside on which meat would have been displayed. The shops currently include a mixture of friendly eateries and souvenir sellers in the immersive feel of a movie set.  In some sections of the Shambles it is possible to touch both sides of the street with outstretched arms. Pavements are raised either side of the cobbled street to form a channel to wash away offal and blood.

The siting of York on the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss allowed barges to carry freight between York and the port of Hull until the end of the 20th century, Today navigation is almost exclusively leisure-oriented with both day and nighttime cruises available.

We’ll leave the last word with Travel Beans, digital nomads who recorded their visit to this great city in April 2017.

See these places and more

These places and many others are listed as markers on the map on our home page. Places to visit in the UK and Ireland. www.touring-britain.heralded.co.uk


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