York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire. The city is noted for its rich history, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is nearly 2,000 years old.
The city itself was founded in AD 71, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a military fortress
The Emperors Hadrian, Septimus Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior and it is likely that it was he who granted York the privileges of a city.
In the 7th century York became the chief city of the Angle King Edwin of Northumbria. The first Minster church was built at this time, for the baptism of Edwin in 627. Edwin ordered that this small wooden church should be rebuilt in stone, but he was killed in 633 and the task of completing the stone Minster fell to his successor Oswald.
In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of civil war when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of an independent Jorvik was driven from the city in the year 965 by King Edred completing the unification of England.
In 1069, York was ravaged by William the Conqueror. The old ancient Minster was badly damaged by fire at this time, and the Normans took the decision to build a new Minster on a fresh site. Around the year 1080 Archbishop Thomas started building a cathedral that in time became the current Minster. York started to prosper again, becoming a profitable port and centre of trade, particularly in wool.
The city underwent a period of decline during Tudor times. Under Henry VIII the dissolution fo the monastries saw the end of the monastic houses of York, most Northerners were Catholics and were upset with this, leading to the Pilgrimage of Grace in York. Henry VIII eventually reinstated the Council of the North in York, and this increased in importance under Elizabeth I, leading to a revival in the city's influence.
In 1644, during the Civil War the Parliamentarians besieged York, but with the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some six miles from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and devastatingly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moor. Of Rupert's 15,000 troops, no fewer than 4,000 were killed and 1,500 captured. The siege was renewed, but the city could not hold out for long, and on July 15 the city surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax.
Following the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, and the removal of the garrison from York in 1688, the city was gradually dominated by the local aristocracy and gentry. Competition from the nearby cities of Leeds and Hull resulted in York losing its predominent position as a trading centre, but the city's role as the social and cultural centre for wealthy northerners was on the rise. York's many elegant townhouses date from this period.
With the emergence of tourism as a major industry, the historic core of York became one of the city's major asset, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area.
The Tresures House