Wednesday, April 18, 2012

York Revisited, This Time In Person

Early in my blogging days, I blogged about a scrapbook I made for friends. Here is the link to remind yourself:

This time however, I was pleased to be there personally!

York a walled city in Great Britain. The place has a rich history, claiming some time from Romans and Vikings. York is a centre for railway and confectionery business. Originally, a wool trading centre, York has a strong tourist following now.

The walls were built by the Romans when the city was known as Eboracum. The bars, or gates were built to control who goes in. The walls have been altered in one way, or another over their complete history.

Post-Roman York was called Ebrauc. Roman withdrawal from Britain in 410 left things quiet for a bit. Small settlements could be found around this time.

Anglo-saxons called York Eoforwic by the early 5th century. The city became a vital commercial trading link with the rest of England and other areas in Europe.

The Vikings called York, Yorvik, meaning "horse bay." Overtaken by the Danish "Great Heathen Army." nearly unopposed, due to fighting elsewhere in the country, such as the conflict in the Kingdom of Northumbria, in 867.

Following the Norman Conquest 1066, this ushered in the Medieval history of York. York was substantially damaged. However, churches and castles were built and the area began to prosper.

Things are more settled now. York does remain an important ecclesiastical centre for the Church Of England.

....situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. Ouse literally meaning "river water," and Foss meaning "ditch." River Foss was once known as "King's Fish Pond," William the Conqueror damned the river to create a moat around the castle. This made the river flood and provided fish for market.

Some random views around York.

Where to now?

Right, The focal point of York, would be the York Minster.

We walked the steps of the tower.

The advice is correct, don't light anything, especially if you are following that bloke. Seriously though, I lost my breath thinking about if someone fell.....We would all fall like dominoes- Painful as that would be! There are 275 very narrow steps, in 2 levels with a sky walk in between. There are health warnings before you take on this climb.

The original Guild Hall of York. It is still at the levels of the original town.

Excavating for more York history.

The hiding place and haunting grounds of Dick Turpin. The famous highwayman of York. He was executed in the streets of York for stealing a horse. One of many of his crimes. You can also see his grave site, as well.

A medieval church with a "devil's door." This door is a small one on the north side of the church. This door was installed to release the devil from a newly baptised child. Oh, the things people will believe....

Anyone channeling Willy Wonka? How about buying and running your own chocolate factory? This is where Terry's chocolate as made. You remember the chocolate oranges that you smack on something to release and consume the segments. I used to fill Christmas stockings with the plain chocolate variety. They used to be made here. They are still made, but not here any longer.

The Black Swan Pub

Part of the Ghost walks Tour.

"Some interesting ghosts have been reported in the Black Swan. One is of a Chalinesque figure that wears a bowler hat and wanders aimlessly through the rooms waiting for someone to arrive. After a while he usually disappears!

Also a beautiful young ghostly woman wearing a long white dress has been staring distractedly into the fire, her face hidden by long black hair. The pub’s strangest ghost is a pair of male legs seen walking around the Landlord’s accommodation. His regular visitations have not been explained!"

The Shambles

"The name "Shambles" comes from the Saxon "Fleshammels", which means, "the street of the butchers", for it was here that the city's butcher's market was located. Notice the wide window sills of the houses; the meat for sale was displayed here."

The footprint of the buildings were kept to a minimum, as the taxes were based on the ground floor. The butcher's would built out as they went up, gaining spaced but avoiding higher taxes. Now, there are many different items for sale in the buildings. We did find a lovely pork pie at a butchers there.

Clifford's Tower

A keep in the York Castle.

"In 1190 the wooden keep was again burned down, during a siege by citizens of the Jewish community which had taken refuge there. This was one instance of a continent-wide persecution stimulated in part by the emotionally-charged and propagandized environment of the Crusades. At and following the accession of the crusading king Richard, successor to Henry II who had been careful to protect England's Jews, there were a number of violent outbursts against them in various English towns. In York, a violent incident was quickly followed by most of the Jews there seeking protection within the castle. However, when there fear became so great that they refused even the constable of the castle admittance, an attempt by royal authorities to regain access deteriorated into a mob assault on the castle. Rather than fall into the hands of the mob, many of the Jews committed suicide and set the keep afire. The survivors emerged the following day, only to be massacred by the besiegers. As punishment for this terrible act, the king's Chancellor dismissed the sheriff and constable, imposed a heavy fine on York's citizens (who claimed not to have been involved), but the ringleaders had fled and could not be brought to justice."


"Fear not death, for the hour of your doom is set and none may escape it." (VS, c.5)
-Viking quote

Friday, April 6, 2012


Spring has sprung, sprung back and is now working it's way back again.....

The birthplace and general hang out of Shakespeare. You will find him and his cast of characters all over town....Keep your eyes alert.

Stratford is upon River Avon.

Was that William? He is one smart cookie!

The house where Shakespeare was born.

Surly you jest....


Royal Shakepeare Company

The church where William is buried, but like a comedy of errors, we showed up when a wedding was on....

Hall's Croft is where Shakespeare's daughter lived with her husband, Dr. Hall.

Where they are digging to find more evidence of Shakepeare's life in Stratford.

Is that William, or maybe Romeo? Dubious!


O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?