2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Geography of Great Britain

City of York
Status Unitary, City
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial county North Yorkshire
Traditional county Yorkshire
- Total
Ranked 166th
271.94 km²
Admin. HQ York
ONS code 00FF
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
Ranked 76th
687 / km²
Ethnicity 97.8% White
Arms of City of York Council
Leadership Leader & Cabinet
Executive Liberal Democrats
MPs Hugh Bayley ( City of York), John Greenway ( Ryedale), John Grogan ( Selby), Anne McIntosh ( Vale of York)

York is a city in Northern England, at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. The York urban area has a population of 137,505 whilst the entire unitary authority (see below) has a population of 184,900. Its geographic coordinates are 53°57′N 1°05′W.

York is the traditional county town of Yorkshire, to which it lends its name. However, it did not form part of any of the three historic divisions of Yorkshire; known as ridings.

Traditionally the term City of York was reserved for the area within the city walls (a small area outside of the walls, the Ainsty, was often associated with the City, resulting in the term the City and Ainsty of York), but the modern City of York, created on April 1, 1996, is much larger. It is a unitary authority, and apart from York itself, includes several neighbouring parishes which formerly belonged to the surrounding districts of Harrogate, Ryedale and Selby. It borders on North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

York is home to the University of York founded in 1963, and York St John University which gained university status in 2006.

The city often suffers from flooding.


The name 'York' has an interesting etymological history, ultimately deriving from the Latin name for the city, Eboracum. The city was founded in AD 71, and has a rich Roman and Viking history, acting as capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior. It later became the seat of the Archbishop of York, whose province of York covers northern England, and acted as the centre for the Viking kingdom of Jorvik.

The historical aspects of York attract a great deal of tourism, the jewel in the crown being the city's historic cathedral church, York Minster.


York lies within the Vale of York, and is generally said to be a fairly flat area of land with an unusual amount of green space. The ings are flood meadows along the River Ouse, while the strays are scattered around the city in marshy, low-lying places; the Knavesmire is part of Micklegate Stray.

York is situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Ouse and the Foss. During Roman times, the land surrounding the rivers was very marshy, making it easier to defend. The city is prone to severe flooding from the River Ouse, and has an extensive (but not always effective) network of flood defences. These include walls along the Ouse, and a barrier across the River Foss where it joins the Ouse. The floods of late October and early November 2000, which were the highest for over 350 years, caused much damage, but the water did not breach the (sandbag reinforced) flood walls. Much land within the city has always been too flood-prone for development.

York railway station is situated on the East Coast, Cross Country and Transpennine mainlines.

Part of a series of articles on
County Town: York
The ridings:
East • North • West
Ceremonial counties
East Riding of Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
South Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
Further information
Accent & Dialect
Famous People
White Rose
Yorkshire Day 1 August


The population of York stands at 184,900 .


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of York at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 2,052 30 579 1,443
2000 2,963 13 782 2,168
2003 3,299 16 779 2,505

York's economy is based largely on tourism and other service-based industries. This is very different from the position as recently as the 1950s, when York's prosperity was based on chocolate manufacturing and the railways. Most of the industry around the railway has gone, including the carriage works which once employed some 22,000 men. Major employers now include City of York Council, Norwich Union, Card Protection Plan and Nestlé, amongst others.

York is the headquarters of the confectionery manufacturer Nestlé Rowntree, and home to the KitKat, Smarties 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.

On the edge of York, the University of York and its Science Park contribute heavily to the skilled-work sector of the economy.

Job losses in 2006

It was announced on the 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 Norwich Union, British Sugar and Terry's chocolate factory.

Law and government

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.

In the 1990s UK local government reform, York became one of the many boroughs to regain unitary status, but was the only one to see a substantial alteration in its borders, taking in parts of Selby and Harrogate districts, and about half the population of Ryedale district. Unsurprising this caused tension with its neighbours. Ironically, this boundary had not been the intention of the council and it was only floated after the council's preferred option of a unitary bounded by the A64/A1237 ringroad was rejected by the central Government.

York has 22 wards, which elect between 1 and 3 councillors each, for a total of 47 councillors. The council is controlled by the Liberal Democrats, who have 29 councillors. There are 15 Labour Party councillors, 2 Greens, and one independent.

The city has its own magistrates and crown courts. It is home to the North Yorkshire Police Force.

York is twinned with:


The University of York, on the edge of the city, is regularly placed in the top 10 UK Universities. Until 2006 it was York's only institution with university status, when York St John University College, formerly an autonomous college of University of Leeds, attained full university status as York St John University. The city also hosts a branch of the College of Law.

The city has two major Further Education institutions: one, York College, which is currently in the process of being moved to a brand new site, and a second at Askham Bryan.

York College 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. It also runs many courses in the community.

Askham Bryan College offers many further education course, foundation and honours degrees, specialising in more vocational subjects such as Horticulture, Agriculture, Animal Management and even Golf Course Management.

There are over 55 schools in the City of York area. The Local Education Authority is the City of York Council, who manage most Primary and Secondary Schools within the city. About 40 Primary schools cover education from ages 5-11, with some offering early years education from age three. From 11-16 education is then provided by 11 Secondary school, four of which offer additional education up to age 18.

York also has several private schools. St Peter's is famous for schooling the infamous Guy Fawkes (so they never put the guy on their bonfire!). Two others have Quaker origins, Bootham School is co-ed and The Mount is all-girls. On the outskirts of the city is Queen Margarets School.

Sites of interest

Cliffords Tower
Cliffords Tower
Looking towards the Minster from the city walls
Looking towards the Minster from the city walls

York Minster, the historic cathedral church stands at the city's centre. The city centre is nearly surrounded by walls, pictured. To walk the entire circuit (including parts where walls never existed) is about 3 miles.

A panoramic view of York as it seen from the top of Cliffords tower
A panoramic view of York as it seen from the top of Cliffords tower

The Shambles is perhaps York's most iconic street. Formerly the lamb-butchers district, it retains an historic feel. It contains the shrine of Margaret Clitherow, and many gift shops. York has many other narrow streets and passages, commonly known as Snickelways.

The city has many museums, including the Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum & Gardens, Richard III Museum and the York Dungeon. The National Railway Museum is situated just behind the station, and is home to the largest static collection of railway locomotives in the world, including the world's fastest steam locomotive LNER 4468 Mallard.

The Kings Arms pub during floods
The Kings Arms pub during floods

York is also a major venue for horse racing at York Racecourse in the Knavesmire area, and every year, thousands flock to the city for the Ebor Handicap Meeting in August.

York is also noted for its wealth of churches and pubs. Many of the remaining churches in York are from the medieval period. The York area is said to contain one pub for every day of the year, and that in York there is no point within the city walls where one can stand and not be able to see at least one pub and at least one church. These claims although commonly quoted are exaggerated.


The City's football team is York City F.C. who play in the Nationwide Conference. York also has a rugby league side, York City Knights and an open rowing club (York city rowing club) located underneath Lendal Bridge. The most notable sportsmen to come form York in recent years are footballers Marco Gabbiadini and Steve McClaren, who both attended Nunthorpe Grammar School. Steve McClaren has since gone onto Football management at several clubs including Middlesbrough and has been appointed to the post of England Manager in 2006.

Nightlife in York.

York has a large and vibrant nightlife with many people, including many stag and hen parties from the north east choosing to a night on the town in York. With its close proximity to Newcastle, Leeds and with the huge crowds that come to the races, most bars and clubs are full most nights.There are eight night clubs, many many bars and over 200 pubs in the city centre. The night caters for all ages and there are many student places for the students of the two universities to enjoy.

People associated with York

Many notable people have made their homes in York. At the present time, arguably the most famous living resident of the city is the actress Dame Judi Dench. Also resident is TV Chef (and dancer) James Martin


  • Mark Addy (b. 1964) (actor)
  • Alcuin (c. 735-804) (Christian scholar)
  • Kate Atkinson (b. 1951) (author)
  • W. H. Auden (1907–1973) (poet)
  • Victoria Bage (1942-2003) ( Sarah Coggles fashion chain)
  • John Barry (b. 1933) (composer)
  • Edward Bairstow (1847-1956) (minster organist)
  • David Bradley (b. 1942) (actor)
  • Michael Burns (actor)
  • Vincent Cable (b. 1943) (politician)
  • Margaret Clitherow d.1586 (Catholic martyr)
  • Constantine the Great (272-337) (Emperor of Rome)
  • Judi Dench (b. 1934) (actress)
  • Frank Dobson (b. 1940) (politician)
  • Keith Drinkel (b. 1944) (actor)
  • John Earle (c. 1601–1665) (clergyman and author)
  • William Etty (1787–1849) (painter)
  • Guy Fawkes (1570–1606) (Catholic conspirator involved in the Gunpowder Plot)
  • John Flaxman (1755–1826) (sculptor and draughtsman)
  • Dustin Gee (1942–1986) (comedian, one half of duo with Les Dennis)
  • Harry Gration (BBC Yorkshire News Presenter)
  • Mark Herman (Film Director)
  • Christopher Hill (1912–2003) (Marxist historian)
  • Frankie Howerd (1917–1992) (comedy actor)
  • George Hudson (1800-1871) (Railway Pioneer, Mayor of York and MP)
  • Ivar the Boneless (794-872) (Viking Chieftain)
  • Sheelagh Kelly (author)
  • Steve McClaren (b. 1961) (football manager)
  • Francis Mason (1799–1874) (American missionary)
  • Thomas Morton (1564–1659) (clergyman)
  • Xavier Pick (b. 1972) (artist)
  • Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree (1871–1954) (chocolate entrepreneur and social reformer)
  • Joseph Rowntree (1836–1925) (chocolate entrepreneur and philanthropist)
  • Laura Sayers (b. 1978) (assistant producer on Scott Mills show, minor celebrity)
  • John Sentamu (b. 1949) (Archbishop of York)
  • Siward, Earl of Northumbria (d. 1055) (army commander)
  • John Snow (1813–1858) (pioneer of epidemiology and anaesthesia)
  • Silvanus P. Thompson (1851–1916) (author and electrical engineer)
  • William Hepworth Thompson (1810–1886) (classical scholar)
  • Henry Scott Tuke (1858–1929) (painter)
  • James Hack Tuke (1819–1896) (campaigner for famine relief and social reform in Ireland)
  • William Tuke (1732–1822), Henry Tuke (1755–1814), Samuel Tuke (1784–1857) and Daniel Hack Tuke (1827–1895) (campaigners for the humane treatment of the insane)
  • Annie Waller (author)
  • Steve Webster MBE (Ten times sidecar World Champion)
  • Rick Witter (b. 1972) (Lead vocalist of local band Shed Seven)


  • Farrah ( indie pop/rock group)
  • The Guard (Powerpop/Rock band of the 1980's)
  • The Mood (1980s band)
  • The Redskins
  • Shed Seven (indie rock group)
  • St. Christopher (band) (indiepop group)
  • Strange Days (band) (1980's band)
  • Zoot and the Roots (1980's band)

Members of the Royal Family

  • Duke of York
  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
  • Princess Beatrice of York
  • Princess Eugenie of York

Quaker involvement in the city

St Williams College near the Minster
St Williams College near the Minster

York has a long association with the Religious Society of Friends. The York-born Quaker chocolate entrepreneurs and social reformers Joseph Rowntree and Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree left an indelible mark on the city, through both their business interests and their philanthropy. They built the village of New Earswick to provide quality affordable housing for their employees. They also founded two Quaker schools, Bootham School and The Mount, and contributed in large part to the building of York Public Library and the creation of Rowntree Park. The four Rowntree trusts, funded from the Rowntree legacies, are based in York.

The Retreat is a large Quaker mental hospital, situated in the east of the city outside the city walls. It was founded in 1796 by William Tuke; over the next century his son Henry Tuke, grandson Samuel Tuke and great-grandson Daniel Hack Tuke also devoted themselves to mental health reform, continuing to reform The Retreat and publishing a number of works on the subject. Another notable York Quaker was the sculptor Austin Wright.

City areas and surrounding villages

Lendal Tower on the River Ouse, put up for sale as a property in 2006
Lendal Tower on the River Ouse, put up for sale as a property in 2006
Barkers Tower on the Ouse at Lendal Bridge.
Barkers Tower on the Ouse at Lendal Bridge.
  • Acaster Malbis, Acomb, Askham Bryan, Askham Richard
  • Bishopthorpe, Bootham
  • Cawood, Clifton, Copmanthorpe, Crockey Hill
  • Deighton
  • Derwenthorpe (proposed new village)
  • Dringhouses
  • Dunnington
  • Elvington
  • Escrick
  • Fishergate, Fulford
  • The Groves
  • Haxby, Heslington, Hessay, Heworth, Holgate, Holtby, Huntington
  • Kexby, Knapton
  • Layerthorpe
  • Middlethorpe, Moor End, Murton
  • Naburn, Nether Poppleton, New Earswick
  • Osbaldwick
  • Rawcliffe, Rufforth
  • Skelton, Stockton-on-the-Forest, Strensall, South Bank
  • Tang Hall, Towthorpe
  • Upper Poppleton
  • West Huntington, Wheldrake, Wigginton, Woodthorpe

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