Yorkshire History
A Journey Through Time

Yorkshire History - Picture of York Lendell Bridge across the River Ouse
York Lendell Bridge across the River Ouse

Yorkshire history is long, turbulent and fascinating. The Romans, Vikings and Victorians all played their part in forging this area into the Yorkshire we know today. The Industrial Revolution changed the landscape forever. The gem that is the World Heritage Site of Saltaire was built by Sir Titus Salt to house the workforce that toiled in his new textile mill. If you are intrigued, as I am, by the industry and daring do of our forebears then you’re sure to love Yorkshire. In these pages I hope to tempt you with a flavour of Yorkshire history.

On your travels throughout Yorkshire you’ll find many opportunities to learn about our history. You’ll come across interesting and well presented museums. When you think of museums, does your mind switch off because of memories of boring visits to dry, unimaginative displays in cold, dank-smelling buildings?

Here in Yorkshire we are blessed with museums that encourage interaction, designed by historians with flair and imagination. Yorkshire history isn’t just about the Kings and Queens, aristocracy and national events. What brings our history to life is fascinating stories of ordinary folk. No better is this brought to light than in York and Kirkstall. Here you’ll find atmospheric Folk Museums with Victorian streets lovingly recreated in every authentic detail. Bradford and Leeds boast Museums of Industry, housed in gigantic mills. Their dark satanic atmosphere replaced now with the excited chatter, shrill oohs and aahs of children as they soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the hard work of yesteryear. Nostalgic sighs, perhaps, as their parents remember with a warm glow, the almost forgotten, boy-meets-girl thrill of encounters at the mill gates.

City of York in Yorkshire History

The City of York has many museums. Perhaps none so assaulting on the senses as the Jorvik Viking Centre. It takes you back in time, telling the tale in sight, sounds and smells of the vikings in York.

York’s fifteenth century Guildhall still commands an imposing view of the River Ouse. Extensively damaged during the second world war, this historic building was rebuilt during the late 1950’s and reopened in 1960 by HRH Queen Elizabeth II …

For more about the City of York

Yorkshire History - Picture of York's Guild Hall - Click to visit the City of York
York’s Guild Hall

Who were the Lay Brothers in Yorkshire History?

No – they weren’t an early version of the Blues Brothers! But they were a very important part of Yorkshire history! When you visit Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds in West Yorkshire you’ll have a chance to learn who they were and why they came about. This ancient abbey was home to medieval Cistercian monks and is one of the best preserved Cistercian abbeys in Britain.

You’ll find an informative and enjoyable visitor centre and you could combine your visit with an exploration of the Abbey House Museum located alongside.

For more about Kirkstall Abbey…

Picture of Kirkstall Abbey - Click to visit Kirkstall Abbey
Kirkstall Abbey

Rival group build religious sanctuary by the River Wharfe!

Technically a priory, Bolton Abbey was established in 1154 by Augustinian friars on sheltered land beside the River Wharfe between Ilkley and Burnsall. Considered by many to be “the heart of Yorkshire” the romantic ruins sit well by the river and contain an active church within a church. The Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Cuthbert is a Church of England parish church serving the spiritual needs of the local community.

Read more about Bolton Abbey

Picture of Bolton Abbey and stepping stones - Click to visit Bolton Abbey
Bolton Abbey and stepping stones

Industrial Revolution creates new Village of Saltaire!

The brainchild and creation of Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Titus Salt, the model village of Saltaire grew around his new, massive and revolutionary textile mill. Influencing the lives of millions of people, his role represents a major piece in the jigsaw puzzle that is Yorkshire history. More than 3,000 people were employed in his mill in Saltaire.

Read more about Saltaire

Picture of one of the Lions of Saltaire
One of the Lions of Saltaire

STOP PRESS – Rebel splinter group form richest abbey in Europe!

From the austere, simple desires of a twelfth-century splinter group of Benedictine monks rose Fountains Abbey – a Cistercian abbey destined to become one of the richest in Europe. Down through the centuries …

More about Fountains Abbey

Yorkshire History - Picture of the knave at Fountains Abbey - click the picture to visit Fountains Abbey
The knave at Fountains Abbey

Yorkshire History – Latest News from the Battle of Towton!

The Battle of Towton was to prove a crucial turning point in the “Cousins War” as the Wars of the Roses were known in the 15th century. The war had been rumbling on for decades as the two rival families, the Lancastrians and the Yorkists, fought for supremacy and the throne of England.

Click here to read more about the Battle of Towton

Picture of folk in medieval costume walking across the battlefield of Towton. Click the picture to read about the Battle of Towton
Folk in medieval costume walking across the battlefield of Towton

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