Posts Tagged ‘York’

Today, the group left Edinburgh behind and headed to York.  Upon arriving, we discovered that the city was both quaint and packed with people.  We inched through narrow cobblestone streets of shops and cafés, among which were also bits of the history of the city–which was first settled in 71 AD. One such place, sandwiched between gift shops, is the shrine of Saint Margaret Clitherow, in the former residence of Margaret herself, who was arrested in 1586 for harboring Catholic priests and executed. She was canonized in 1970. After visiting the shrine, the group continued its progress toward York Minster.

Although the first recorded church on the site was built in 627, the current structure–one of the largest in northern Europe–was finished in 1472.  Over the centuries it was damaged in a variety of places and ways, but has been thoroughly restored and houses some of the largest medieval stained glass windows in the world. After being briefly introduced to the particular points of interest in the cathedral by Margaret, we were given time to explore it ourselves; then the group split up, with some going for shopping and lunch and some heading for the Viking Museum.

York was controlled and inhabited by Vikings between 866 and 945, when the last ruler (Eric Bloodaxe) was driven out by King Eldred in pursuit of a unified England. The museum contained some fascinating artifacts from the Viking society, such as jewelry, weapons, armor, tools, and articles of clothing–all remarkably preserved and restored. It also comprehensively explained how archaeologists were able to use their findings to infer how people lived at the time–what they ate, how their homes were built and what they looked like, how they made tools and from what materials, how the village was laid out, and much more. Some students also explored the city walls. While the walls were first built in 71 AD when Romans settled in the area, the surviving stonework dates mainly from the 12th-14th centuries. Later in the afternoon, everyone met back at the bus, and continued our journey towards London via Leeds.

photo by Jordan Novick


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