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York ( ) is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ousemarker and Fossmarker in North Yorkshire, Englandmarker. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence.

The city was founded by the Romans in 71 AD. They called it Eboracummarker, a name perhaps derived from one used by the British tribes who inhabited the area. The Romans made it the capital of their Province of Britannia Inferior. At the end of Roman rule in 415 AD the settlement was taken over by the Angles and the city was renamed Eoforwic. It served as the capital of the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbriamarker. When the Vikings captured the city in 866 AD they renamed it Jórvík and it became the capital of a wider kingdom of the same name covering much of Northern England. After the Norman conquest, the name "York", which was first used in the 13th century, gradually evolved.In the Middle Ages York grew as a major wool trading centre and the ecclesiastical capital of the northern province of England. The Province of York is still one of the two Church of England ecclesiastical provinces, alongside that of Canterbury.

York's location on the River Ouse, in the centre of the Vale of York and half way between the capitals of Londonmarker and Edinburghmarker means that it has long had a significant position in the nation's transport system. The 19th century saw York, under the influence of George Hudson, become an important hub of the railway network and a manufacturing centre. In recent decades, the economy of York has moved from being dominated by its confectionery and railway-related industries to one that provides services. The University of Yorkmarker and health services have become major employers. Tourism also boosts the local economy because the city offers a wealth of historic attractions, of which York Minstermarker is the most prominent, and a variety of cultural activities. York Racecoursemarker and Kit Kat Crescentmarker, the home of York City F.C., are the most prominent sporting venues in the city and the River Ouse provides opportunities for both sporting and leisure pursuits.

From 1996, the term City of York describes a unitary authority area which includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries. In 2001 the urban area had a population of 137,505, while in 2007 the entire unitary authority had an estimated population of 193,300.



The word 'York' comes from the Latin name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to c. 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolandamarker in Northumberlandmarker.

The toponymy of Eboracum is uncertain as the language of the pre-Roman indigenous population of the area was never recorded. These people are thought to have spoken a Celtic language, related to modern Welsh. Therefore, it is thought that Eboracum is derived from the Brythonic word Eborakon meaning either "place of the yew trees" (cf. yew = efrog in Welsh, eabhrac in Irish Gaelic and eabhraig in Scottish Gaelic, by which names the city is known in those languages) or perhaps "field of Eboras".

The name 'Eboracum' was turned into 'Eoforwic' by the Anglian in the 7th century. This was probably by conflation of 'ebor' with a Germanic root *eburaz (boar); by the 7th century the Old English for boar had become 'eofor', and Eboracum 'Eoforwic'. The 'wic' simply signified 'place'. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, the name became rendered as 'Jórvík'.

Jórvík was gradually reduced to York in the centuries following the Norman Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk to Yourke in the 14th century through to Yourke in the 16th century and then Yarke in the 17th century. The form York was first recorded in the 13th century. Many present day names of companies and places, such as Ebor taxis and the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Roman name.

Early history

Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state but later its leaders became more hostile to Rome. As a result the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humbermarker into Brigantian territory.

The city itself was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ousemarker close to its confluence with the River Fossmarker. The fortress, which was later rebuilt in stone, covered an area of and was inhabited by 6,000 soldiers. The site of the Roman fortress lies under the foundations of York Minstermarker, and excavations in the Minster's undercroft have revealed some of the original walls.

The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius 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 colonia or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, and his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress.

In the 7th century York became the chief city of the Anglian King Edwin of Northumbriamarker. The first Minster church was built in York 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 the following century Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York. He had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, Yorkmarker, which was founded in 627 AD, and later as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.

In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles 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 Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in the year 954 by King Edred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.

Post conquest

In 1068, two years after the Norman Conquest of England, the people of York rebelled. At first the rebellion was successful but then William the Conqueror arrived and put down the rebellion. He at once built two wooden fortresses on mottes, which are still visible, on either side of the river Ouse. York was ravaged by him as part of the harrying of the North.

The first stone Minster church was badly damaged by fire in the uprising and the Normans later decided to build a new Minster on a new site. Around the year 1080 Archbishop Thomas started building a cathedral that in time became the current Minster.In the 12th century York started to prosper because of its position at the hub of an excellent communications network. It became a major trading centre and Hanseatic port. York merchants imported cloth, wax, canvas, and oats from the Low Countries, and exported grain to Gasconymarker and grain and wool to the Low Countries.King Henry I granted the city's first charter, confirming trading rights in England and Europe.

In 1190, York was the site of an infamous pogrom of its Jewish inhabitants. The Jews sought sanctuary in Clifford's Towermarker, the fortification within the city belonging to the Crown. The mob besieged the trapped Jews for some days while preparations were made to storm the castle. Eventually a fire was started, whether by the Jews or their persecutors is uncertain, and 150 Jews lost their lives.

Tudor and Stuart times

The city underwent a period of decline during Tudor times. Under Henry VIII, the Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the end of the many monastic houses of York, along with their hospitals. This led to the Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising of northern Catholics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire who were opposed to religious reform. 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.Guy Fawkes who was born and educated in York was a member of a group of Roman Catholic restorationists that planned the Gunpowder Plot. Its aim was to displace Protestant rule by blowing up the Houses of Parliamentmarker while King James I and the entire Protestant and even most of the Catholic aristocracy and nobility were inside.

In 1644, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians besieged Yorkmarker, and many medieval houses outside the city walls were lost. The barbican at Walmgate Bar was undermined and explosives laid but the plot was discovered. On the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and soundly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moormarker. 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 15 July 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 dominated by the local gentry and merchants, although the clergy were still important. Competition from the nearby cities of Leedsmarker and Hullmarker, together with silting of the River Ouse, resulted in York losing its pre-eminent 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, such as the Lord Mayor's Mansion House and Fairfax House (now owned by York Civic Trust) date from this period, as do the Assembly Roomsmarker, the Theatre Royal, and the Racecoursemarker.

Modern history

The minster and war memorial seen from the Station Road walls
George Hudson was responsible for bringing the railway to York in 1839. Although Hudson's career as a railway entrepreneur eventually ended in disgrace, by this time, York was a major railway centre. At the turn of the 20th century, the railway accommodated the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway, which employed over 5,500 people in York. The railway was also instrumental in the expansion of Rowntree's Cocoa Works. Rowntree's was founded in York in 1862 by Henry Isaac Rowntree, who was joined in 1869 by his brother the philanthropist Joseph Rowntree. Terry's Confectionery Works was also a major employer in the city.

With the emergence of tourism as a major industry, the historic core of York became one of the city's major assets, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area. The existing tourist attractions were supplemented by the establishment of the National Railway Museummarker in York in 1975. The opening of the University of Yorkmarker in 1963 added to the prosperity of the city. The fast and frequent railway service, which brings York within two hours journey time of London, has resulted in a number of companies opening offices in the city.

York was voted as European Tourism City of the Year by European Cities Marketing in June 2007. York beat 130 other European cities to gain first place, surpassing Gothenburgmarker in Sweden (second) and Valenciamarker in Spain (third).


Parliamentary constituencies

Most of York is covered by the City of York constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdommarker, though the outer parts of the city and local authority area fall within the Selbymarker, Vale of Yorkmarker and Ryedalemarker constituencies. These constituencies are represented by Hugh Bayley, John Grogan, Anne McIntosh and John Greenway, respectively. Following their review in 2002 of parliamentary representation in North Yorkshire, the Boundary Commission for England has recommended the creation of two new seats for the City of York at the next general election.

Both existing City of York and Vale of Yorkmarker seats will be abolished and replaced by two new constituencies, namely, York Centralmarker and York Outermarker. The Selby and Ryedale seats will no longer contain any York wards. The whole of the city and local authority area lies within the Yorkshire and the Humber constituency of the European Parliamentmarker.

Local government

York is the traditional county town of Yorkshiremarker, yet it did not form part of any of the three historic ridings, or divisions, of Yorkshire. York is an ancient borough, and was one of the boroughs reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 to form a municipal borough. It gained the status of a county borough in 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, and existed so until 1974, when, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became a non-metropolitan district in the county of North Yorkshire.

As a result of 1990s UK local government reform, York regained unitary status and saw a substantial alteration in its borders, taking in parts of Selbymarker and Harrogatemarker districts, and about half the population of the Ryedalemarker district. The new boundary was imposed after central government rejected the council's own proposal.

The City of York Council has 47 councillors. As a result of the 2007 local elections (and a by-election in September 2007), no party has an absolute majority, resulting in no overall control of the authority. The Liberal Democrats have 20 councillors and in May 2007 they formed a minority administration with an executive of 9 councillors. The Labour Party formed the Opposition with 18 councillors. The Conservative Party has seven councillors and the Greens have two.

, York’s Lord Mayor is Councillor John Galvin, and Mrs. Jill Burnett is York’s Sheriff. Both appointments are made each May for a period of one year. Although York’s Sheriff office is the oldest in England it is now a purely ceremonial post. The Lord Mayor also carries out civic and ceremonial duties in addition to chairing full meetings of the council.



York lies within the Vale of York, a flat area of fertile arable land bordered by the Pennines, the North York Moorsmarker and the Yorkshire Woldsmarker The original city was built at the confluence of the Rivers Ousemarker and Fossmarker on a terminal moraine left by the last Ice Age.

During Roman times, the land surrounding the rivers Ouse and Foss was very marshy, making the site easier to defend. The city is prone to flooding from the River Ouse, and has an extensive (and mostly effective) network of flood defences. These include walls along the Ouse, and a liftable barrier across the River Fossmarker where it joins the Ouse at the 'Blue Bridge'. In October and November 2000 York experienced the worst flooding in 375 years with over 300 homes being flooded. Much land in and around the city is on flood plains and has always been too flood-prone for development other than agriculture. The ings are flood meadows along the River Ouse, while the strays are open common grassland in various locations around the city.


York has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As with the rest of the Vale of York the city's climate is dryer and warmer than the rest of the Yorkshire and Humberside region. Because of its lowland location York is prone to frosts, fog, and cold winds during winter, spring and very early summer. In summer the average maximum temperature is 22 °C (72 °F) although some days can see highs of up to 28 °C (82 °F) rarely exceeding 30°C (86°F). Nights are significantly colder averaging minimum of 15 °C (60 °F), although these can consistently dip below 10 °C (50 °F). The average daytime temperature in winter is 7 °C (45 °F) and 2 °C (36 °F) at night. Snow can fall in winter from December onwards to as late as April but quickly melts. The wettest months are November, December and January with an average of 17 days per month with rainfall more than . From May to July York experiences the most sunshine with an average of six hours per day.Extremes recorded at the University of York campus between 1998 and 2006, include a highest temperature of 33 °C (91.4 °F) and a lowest temperature of -6.9 °C (19.5 °F). The most rainfall in one day was .


York Compared in 2006/7
2006/7 UK Population Estimates York Yorkshire and the Humber England
Total population 193,300 5,177,200 51,092,000
White 95.0% 91.1% 88.7%
Asian 1.9% 5.5% 5.5%
Black 0.6% 1.2% 2.8%
The York urban area had a population of 137,505 comprising 66,142 males and 71,363 females in 2001.Also at the time of the 2001 UK census, the City of Yorkmarker had a total population of 181,094 of whom 93,957 were female and 87,137 were male. Of the 76,920 households in York, 36.0% were married couples living together, 31.3% were one-person households, 8.7% were co-habiting couples and 8.0% were lone parents. The figures for lone parent households were below the national average of 9.5%, and the percentage of married couples was also close to the national average of 36.5%; the proportion of one person households was slightly higher than the national average of 30.1%.

The population density was . Of those aged 16–74 in York, 24.6% had no academic qualifications, a little lower than 28.9% in all of England. Of York’s residents, 5.1% were born outside the United Kingdom, significantly lower than the national average of 9.2%. The largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.9% of the population.

The number of theft-from-a-vehicle offences and theft of a vehicle per 1,000 of the population was 8.8 and 2.7 compared to the English national average of 6.9 and 2.7 respectively. The number of sexual offences was 0.9, in line with the national average. The national average of violence against another person was 16.2 compared to the York average of 16.8. The figures for crime statistics were all recorded during the 2006–07 financial year.

Population change

The table below details the population change since 1801.
Population growth in York since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 24,080 27,486 30,913 36,340 40,337 49,899 58,632 67,364 76,097 81,802 90,665 100,487 106,278 112,402 123,227 135,093 144,585 154,749 158,170 172,847 181,131
Source: Vision of Britain


Religion in York 2001
UK Census 2001 York Yorkshiremarker England
Christian 74.42% 73.07% 71.74%
No religion 16.57% 14.09% 14.59%
Muslim 0.58% 3.81% 3.1%
Buddhist 0.21% 0.14% 0.28%
Hindu 0.19% 0.32% 1.11%
Jewish 0.11% 0.23% 0.52%
Sikh 0.05% 0.38% 0.67%
Other religions 0.30% 0.19% 0.29%
Religion not stated 7.57% 7.77% 7.69%

At the time of the 2001 UK census the population of York was 181,094 and its ethnic composition was 97.84% white, compared with the English average of 90.92%. York's population has a slightly higher elderly population than the national average.Christianity is the religion with the largest following in York with 74.4% residents reporting themselves as Christian in the 2001 census. These census figures show no other single religion returned affiliation, as a percentage of population, above the national average for England.

There are 32 active Anglican churches in York which is home to the Archbishop of York and the Mother Church, York Minstermarker, and administrative centre of the Diocese of Yorkmarker.York is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbroughmarker, has eight Roman Catholic churches and a number of different Catholic religious orders.

Other Christian denominations that are active in York include Religious Society of Friends who have a number of meeting houses in York, Methodists with the York North and York South circuits of The Methodist Church York and Hull District, and Unitarians. There is one mosque in York which also contains a UK Islamic Mission Islamic centre. Various Buddhist traditions are represented in the city and around York.


Offices of Aviva in York
York's economy is based on the service industry, which in 2000 was responsible for 88.7% of employment in the city. The service industries in York include public sector employment, health, education, finance, information technology (IT) and tourism that accounts for 10.7% of employment. Unemployment in York is low at 4.2% in 2008 compared to the United Kingdom national average of 5.3%. The biggest employer in York is the City of York Council, with over 7,500 employees. Employers with more than 3,000 staff include Aviva (formerly Norwich Union Life), Selby and York Primary Care Trust, Shepherd Building Group (including Portakabin), and University of Yorkmarker. Other major employers include British Telecom, CPP Group Ltd (Card Protection Plan), Nestlé and a number of railway companies.

This is very different from the position of the economy as recently as the 1950s, when York's prosperity was based on chocolate manufacturing and the railways. This position continued until the early 1980s when 30% of the workforce were employed by just five employers and 75% of manufacturing jobs were in four companies. Most of the industry around the railway has gone, including the carriage works (known as Asea Brown Boveri or ABB at the time of closure) which at its height in 1880s employed 5,500 people but closed in the mid 1990s. York is the headquarters of the confectionery manufacturer Nestlé York (formerly Nestlé Rowntrees), and home to the KitKat and eponymous Yorkie bar chocolate brands. Terry's chocolate factory, makers of the Chocolate Orange, was also located in the city; but it closed on 30 September 2005, when production was moved by its owners, Kraft Foods, to Poland. However, the historic factory building can still be seen, situated next to the Knavesmire racecourse.

It was announced on 20 September 2006 that Nestlé would be cutting 645 jobs at the Rowntree's chocolate factory in York. This came after a number of other job losses in the city at Aviva, British Sugar and Terry's chocolate factory. Despite this, the employment situation in York remained fairly buoyant until the effects of the late 2000s recession began to be felt.

Since the closure of York's carriage-works, the site has been developed into the headquarters for CPP Group UK, Virgin Galactic and two housing schemes, one of which was a self-build project. York's economy has been developing in the areas of science, technology and the creative industries. The city has become a founding National Science City with the creation of a science park near the University of Yorkmarker. Between 1998 and 2008 York gained 80 new technology companies and 2,800 new jobs in the sector.

Regional gross value added figures for York, at 2005 basic prices in pounds sterling, are:
Year Agriculture Industry Services Total
1995 30 579 1,443 2,052
2000 13 782 2,168 2,963
2003 16 779 2,505 3,299


Boats on the River Ouse
York's location on the River Ouse and in the centre of the Vale of York means that it has always had a significant position in the nation's transport system. The city grew up as a river port at the confluence of the River Ousemarker and the River Fossmarker. The Ouse was originally a tidal river, accessible to sea-going ships of the time. Today both of these rivers remain navigable, although the Foss is only navigable for a short distance above the confluence. A lock at Naburnmarker on the Ouse to the south of York means that the river in York is no longer tidal.

Until the end of the 20th century, the Ouse was used by barges to carry freight between York and the port of Hullmarker. The last significant traffic was the supply of newsprint to the local newspaper's Foss-side print works, which continued until 1997. Today navigation is almost exclusively leisure-oriented. YorkBoat provides cruises on the river.

Stonegate is pedestrianised during the day
Like most cities founded by the Romans, York is well served by long distance trunk roads. The city lies at the intersection of the A19 road from Doncastermarker to Tynesidemarker, the A59 road from Liverpoolmarker to York, the A64 road from Leedsmarker to Scarboroughmarker, and the A1079 road from York to Hullmarker. The A64 road provides the principal link to the motorway network, linking York to both the A1marker and the M1 motorways at a distance of about from the city.

The city is surrounded on all sides by an outer ring road, at a distance of some from the centre of the city, which allows through traffic to by-pass the city. The street plan of the historic core of the city dates from medieval times and is not suitable for modern traffic. As a consequence many of the routes inside the city walls are designated as car free during business hours or restrict traffic entirely. To alleviate this situation, five bus based park and ride sites operate in York. The sites are located towards the edge of the urban area, with easy access from the ring road, and allow out of town visitors to complete their journey into the city centre by bus.

York railway station and Royal York Hotel
York has been a major railway centre since the first line arrived in 1839 at the beginning of the railway age. For many years the city hosted the headquarters and works of the North Eastern Railway. York railway stationmarker is a principal stop on the East Coast Main Line from London to Newcastlemarker and Edinburghmarker. It takes less than two hours to get to York from London by rail, with at least 25 direct trains each weekday. The station is also served by long distance trains on Cross Country services linking Edinburgh and Newcastle with destinations in south and west England via Birminghammarker. TransPennine Express provide a frequent service of semi-fast trains linking York to Newcastle, Scarboroughmarker, Leedsmarker, Manchestermarker, Manchester Airportmarker, and Liverpoolmarker. Local stopping services by Northern Rail connect York to Bridlingtonmarker, Harrogatemarker, Hullmarker, Leeds, Sheffieldmarker and many intermediate points, as well as many other stations across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

York has an airfield at the former RAF Elvingtonmarker, some south-east of the city centre, which is the home of the Yorkshire Air Museummarker. Elvington is used for private aviation. Plans have been drafted to expand the site for business aviation or a full commercial service.

York is linked to Manchester Airportmarker by an hourly direct TransPennine Express train, giving access to the principal airport serving the north of England, with connections to many destinations in Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia. Leeds Bradford Airportmarker is closer to York but the hourly York Air Coach service operated by First York was withdrawn as of April 2009. Leeds Bradford Airport provides connections to most major European and North African airports as well as Pakistanmarker and New Yorkmarker.

A York 'ftr' bus
Public transport within the city is largely bus based. The principal bus operator is First York, a part of FirstGroup plc. First York operates the majority of the city's local bus services, as well as the York park and ride services. York is the location of the first implementation of FirstGroup's experimental, and controversial, ftr bus concept, which seeks to confer the advantages of a modern tramway system at a lower cost. Transdev York also operate a number of local bus services. Open top tourist and sightseeing buses are operated by Transdev York on behalf of City Sightseeing.

Rural services, linking local towns and villages with York, are provided by a number of companies.Longer distance bus services are provided by a number of operators including, Arriva Yorkshire services to Selby, East Yorkshire Motor Serviceson routes to Hull, Beverley, Pocklington, Harrogate & District services to Knaresboroughmarker and Harrogatemarker. Yorkshire Coastliner links Leedsmarker via York with Scarborough, Fileymarker, Bridlingtonmarker and Whitbymarker.

Local Transport Plan 2006

English local authorities are required to produce Local Transport Plans (LTPs), strategies for developing local integrated transport as part of a longer-term vision. LTPs are used by central government to allocate funding for transport schemes.The final Local Transport Plan 2006–2011 for York was submitted to central government in March 2006. The plan addresses the fact that traffic in York is predicted to grow considerably over the coming years. The key aims of the plan are to ease congestion and improve accessibility, air quality and safety. Major funding allocations earmarked for the first five years of the plan's life span include outer ring road improvements, improved management of the highway network, improvements to the bus network including park and ride services, provision of off-road walking and cycling routes, air quality improvements and safety measures.


University of York, view across the lake to Central Hall

The University of Yorkmarker's main campus is on the southern edge of the city at Heslingtonmarker, while the Archaeology and Medieval Studies department is located in the King's Manor in the city centre. It was York's only institution with university status until 2006, when the more centrally located York St John University, formerly an autonomous college of the University of Leedsmarker, attained full university status as 'York St John University'. The city also hosts a branch of The College of Lawmarker. The University of York also has a highly rated medical school, Hull York Medical School.

The city has two major further education institutions. York Collegemarker is an amalgamation of York Technical College and York Sixth Form College. Students there study a very wide range of academic and vocational courses, and range from school leavers and sixth formers to people training to make career moves. Askham Bryan Collegemarker offers further education courses, foundation and honours degrees, specialising in more vocational subjects such as horticulture, agriculture, animal management and even golf course management.

There are 70 local authority schools with over 24,000 pupils in the City of York Council area. The City of York Council manage most primary and secondary schools within the city. Primary schools cover education from ages 5–11, with some offering early years education from age 3. From 11–16 education is provided by 10 secondary schools, four of which offer additional education up to the age of 18. In 2007 Oaklands Sports College and Lowfield Comprehensive School merged to become one school known as York High Schoolmarker.

The seventeen boarding schools in York are represented by the York Boarding Schools Group. York also has several private schools. St Peter's Schoolmarker was founded in 627 and the scholar Alcuin, who went on to serve Charlemagne, taught here. It was also the school attended by Guy Fawkes. Two schools have Quaker origins: Bootham Schoolmarker is co-educational and The Mount Schoolmarker is all-girls. On the outskirts of the city is Queen Margaret's Schoolmarker. Pupils from The Minster School, York sing in York Minster choir.

Public services

Under the requirements of the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, York City Council had to appoint a watch committee which established a police force and appointed a chief constable. On 1 June 1968 the York City, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Riding of Yorkshire police forces were amalgamated to form the York and North East Yorkshire Police. Since 1974, Home Office policing in York has been provided by the North Yorkshire Police. The force's "Central Area" has its headquarters for policing York and nearby Selbymarker in Fulford, York.Statutory emergency fire and rescue service is provided by the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, whose headquarters is at Northallertonmarker.

York Crown Court
York Hospital, which opened in 1976, gained Foundation status in April 2007. It has 524 adult inpatient beds and 127 special purpose beds providing general healthcare and some specialist inpatient, daycase and outpatient services. It is also known as, York District Hospital and YDH.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust was formed on 1 July 2006 bringing together South Yorkshire Ambulance Service, West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service and the North and East Yorkshire parts of Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service to provide patient transport. Other forms of health care are provided for locally by several small clinics and surgeries.

Since 1998 waste management has been co-ordinated via the York and North Yorkshire Waste Partnership. York's Distribution Network Operator for electricity is CE Electric UK; there are no power stations in the city. Yorkshire Water, which has a local water extraction plant on the River Derwent at Elvington, manages York's drinking and waste water.The city has its own Magistrates' Court, and more unusually a Crown Court and County Court too. The Crown Court was designed by the architect John Carr, next to the then prison (including execution area). The former prison is now the Castle Museummarker but still contains the cells.


Sites of interest

York Minstermarker, the second largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, stands at the city's centre.York's centre is enclosed by the city's medieval walls, which are a popular walk. The entire circuit is about , including a part where walls never existed, because the Norman moat of York Castle, formed by damming the River Foss, also created a lake which acted as a city defence. This lake was later called the King's Fishpond, as the rights to fish belonged to the Crown.

Clifford's Towermarker, a stone quatrefoil keep built on top of a Norman motte, was the site of a massacre in 1190 when the small Jewish community of York sought protection in the tower on the feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol. Many Jews took their own lives rather than face a violent mob in an event regarded as one of the most notorious examples of antisemitism in medieval England.
feature of central York is the Snickelwaysmarker, narrow pedestrian routes, many of which led towards the former market-places in Pavement and Sampson Square. The Shamblesmarker is a narrow medieval street, lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms. Most of these premises were once butchers' shops, and the hooks from which carcasses were hung and the shelves on which meat was laid out can still be seen outside some of them. The street also contains the Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, although it is not located in the house where she lived. Goodramgate has many medieval houses including the 14th century Lady's Row built to finance a Chantry, at the edge of the churchyard of Holy Trinity church.

The city has many museums, including the Castle Museummarker, Yorkshire Museummarker and Museum Gardensmarker, JORVIK Viking Centremarker, the York Art Gallerymarker, Richard III Museummarker, the Merchant Adventurers' Hallmarker, the medieval house Barley Hall owned by the York Archaeological Trust, Fairfax House owned by the York Civic Trust and the Treasurer's Housemarker owned by the National Trust. The National Railway Museummarker is situated just beyond the station, and is home to a vast range of transport material and the largest collection of railway locomotives in the world. Included in this collection are the world's fastest steam locomotive LNER 4468 Mallard and the world famous 4472 Flying Scotsman, which is being overhauled in the Museum.

York is noted for its numerous churches and pubs. Most of the remaining churches in York are from the medieval period. St William's College behind the Minster, and Bedern Hallmarker, off Goodramgate, are former dwelling places of the canons of the Minster.


The Theatre Royalmarker, which was established in 1744, produces an annual pantomime which attracts loyal audiences from around the region to see its veteran star, Berwick Kaler. The Grand Opera Housemarker and Joseph Rowntree Theatre also offer a variety of productions. The city also has many amateur companies, and is home to the Riding Lights Theatre Company and The Strolling Theatricals. The Department of Theatre, Film and Television, and Student Societies of the University of York put on public drama performances.


York has a fine musical heritage and modern day York has a rich tapestry of live music performances all year round. Among many music groups performing regularly in York are the Academy of St Olave's, a chamber orchestra who give concerts in the beautiful setting of St Olave's Church, Marygatemarker. A former church, St Margaret's, Walmgate, is now the National Centre for Early Musicmarker, whch hosts concerts, broadcasts, competitions and events through the year, especially during the York Early Music Festival. The York Waits are an expert reconstruction of the medieval city group of players. Students, staff and visiting artists of York St John University music department regularly perform the well known lunchtime concerts in the University chapel, alongside special performances such as the annual Christmas concert. The staff and students of the University of Yorkmarker also perform in the city and particularly in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on the Heslington campus.


Bettys Café Tea Rooms
In September York has an annual Festival of Food and Drink, which has been held in the city since 1997. The aim of the festival is to spotlight food culture in York and North Yorkshire by promoting local food production.The Festival generates up to 150,000 visitors over 10 days, from all over the country. One of the notable local products is York ham, a type of boiled ham, which is a mild-flavoured ham that has delicate pink meat and does not need further cooking before eating. It is traditionally served with Madeira Sauce. It is a lightly smoked, dry-cured ham, which is saltier but milder in flavour than other European dry-cured hams. Folklore has it that the oak construction for York Minster provided the sawdust for smoking the ham. Robert Burrow Atkinson's butchery shop, in Blossom Street, is the birthplace of the original “York Ham” and the reason why the premises became famous.

In the centre of York, in St Helen’s Square, there is the York branch of Bettys Café Tea Rooms. Bettys founder, Frederick Belmont, travelled on the maiden voyage of the Queen Marymarker in 1936. He was so impressed by the splendour of the ship that he employed the Queen Marys’ designers and craftsmen to turn a dilapidated furniture store in York into an elegant café in St Helen’s Square. A few years after Bettys opened in York war broke out, and the basement ‘Bettys Bar’, became a favourite haunt of the thousands of airmen stationed around York. ‘Bettys Mirror’, on which many of them engraved their signatures with a diamond pen, remains on display today as a tribute to them.


The York area is served by a local newspaper, The Press (known as the Evening Press until April 2006) and two local radio stations Minster FM and BBC Radio York. It is also served by York@54, a local free-to-air television station.

York St John University has a Film and Television Production department with links to many major industrial partners. The department hosts an annual festival of student work and a showcase of other regional films.

The University of Yorkmarker has its own television station York Student Televisionmarker (YSTV) and two campus newspapers Nouse and York Vision. Its radio station URY is the longest running legal independent radio station in the UK, and was voted BBC Radio 1 Student Radio Station of the Year 2005.


The city's football team is York City, currently playing in the Football Conference. York have played as high as the old Second Division but are best known for their "giant killing" status in cup competitions, having reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1955 and beaten Manchester United 3–0 during the 1995–96 League Cup. Their matches are played at KitKat Crescentmarker.

York also has a strong rugby league history. York F.C., later known as York Wasps, formed in 1901, were one of the oldest rugby league clubs in the country but the effects of a move to the out of town Huntington Stadiummarker, poor results and falling attendances led to their bankruptcy in 2002. The supporters formed a new club, York City Knights, who now play at the same stadium in National League Two. There are three amateur rugby league teams in York, New Earswickmarker All Blacks, York Acorn and Heworth. York International 9s is a rugby league nines tournament which takes place in York each year.An open rowing club York City Rowing Club is located underneath Lendal Bridge.

York Racecoursemarker was established in 1731 and from 1990 has been awarded Northern Racecourse of the Year for 17 years running. This major horseracing venue is located on the Knavesmiremarker and sees thousands flocking to the city every year for the 15 race meetings. The Knavesmire Racecourse also hosted Royal Ascot in 2005. In August racing takes place over the three day Ebor Festival that includes the Ebor Handicap dating from 1843.

Motorbike speedway once took place at York. The track in the Burnholme Estate was completed in 1930 and a demonstration event staged. In 1931 the track staged team and open events and the York team took part in the National Trophy.

The most notable sportsmen to come from York in recent years are footballer Marco Gabbiadini and former England manager Steve McClaren, who both attended Nunthorpe Grammar School (now called Millthorpe Schoolmarker).

Twin cities

York is twinned with:

See also


There was no census in 1941: figures are from National Register. United Kingdom and Isle of Man. Statistics of Population on 29 September 1939 by Sex, Age and Marital Condition.
There is a discrepancy of 37 between Office of National Statistics figures (quoted before) and those on the Vision of Britain website (quoted here).


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