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This article is about the historic English city. For other uses, see York (disambiguation).
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
Image:York City Council.png
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 within the geographical boundaries of North Yorkshire, 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.


[edit] History

Main article: History of York

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 city remained one of England's main cities throughout the middle ages, declining in relative importance only with the Industrial Revolution.

York's economic downturn during the Industrial revolution meant that many medieval structures, elsewhere swept aside to make way for mills and factories, survived reasonably intact. The renewed interest in medievalism in the 19th century led to a widespread programme of renovation, and to this day the city attracts a great deal of tourism, the jewel in the crown being the city's historic cathedral church, York Minster.

[edit] Geography

York lies within the Vale of York, a flat area of arable land bordered by the Pennines, North York Moors and Wolds. The ings are flood meadows along the River Ouse, while the strays are scattered around the city in marshy, low-lying places.

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.

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[edit] Demographics

The population of York is about 181,000 [1].

[edit] Economy

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 (though not for much longer) 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 the 20 September, 2006 that Nestlé would be cutting 645 jobs at the Rowntree's chocolate factory in York.[2] This came after a number of other job losses in the city at Norwich Union, British Sugar and Terry's chocolate factory.[3]

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

[edit] 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. [4]

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

York is twinned with:

[edit] Education

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. 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. Askham Bryan College offers 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 Guy Fawkes. Two others have Quaker origins, Bootham School is co-ed and The Mount is all-girls. On the outskirts of the city is Queen Margaret's School.

[edit] Sites of interest

See also: York sites of interest and medieval churches of York
Image:York city.jpg
Looking towards the Minster from the city walls

York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, stands at the city's centre.

York's centre is enclosed by medieval walls. The entire circuit (including parts where walls never existed) is about 3 miles.

Image:York Walls 25-02-06 031.jpg
A panoramic view of York as it seen from the top of Cliffords tower

Clifford's Tower, a quatrefoil keep built on top of a Norman motte, was the site of a massacre of Jews in 1190.

The Shambles is a narrow medieval street. 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.

Image:Kingsarams flood.JPG
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 an exaggeration).

[edit] Sports

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 footballer Marco Gabbiadini and the current England manager Steve McClaren, who both attended Nunthorpe Grammar School.

[edit] People associated with York

[edit] Groups

[edit] Members of the Royal Family

[edit] Local media

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 its own free-to-air television station broadcasting on frequency 54,York@54.

The University has its own television broadcasting channel York Student Television (YSTV) and two campus newspapers, the national award winning nouse and Vision. Its radio station URY was recently voted BBC Radio 1 Student Radio Station of the Year 2005.

[edit] Quaker involvement in the city

Image:St Williams College.jpg
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.

[edit] City areas and surrounding villages

Image:Lendal Tower.jpg
Lendal Tower on the River Ouse, put up for sale as a property in 2006
Image:Barkers Tower.jpg
Barkers Tower on the Ouse at Lendal Bridge.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Guides and maps

[edit] Local media

[edit] Academic

[edit] History

[edit] Photos and images

Districts of Yorkshire and the Humber Image:Yorkshire rose.svg
Barnsley | Bradford | Calderdale | Craven | Doncaster | East Riding of Yorkshire | Hambleton | Harrogate | Hull | Kirklees | Leeds | North Lincolnshire | North East Lincolnshire | Richmondshire | Rotherham | Ryedale | Scarborough | Selby | Sheffield | Wakefield | York
Counties with multiple districts: North Yorkshire - South Yorkshire - West Yorkshire

Places with City status in England
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Bath | Birmingham | Bradford | Brighton & Hove | Bristol | Cambridge | Canterbury | Carlisle | Chester | Chichester | Coventry | Derby | Durham | Ely | Exeter | Gloucester | Hereford | Kingston upon Hull | Lancaster | Leeds | Leicester | Lichfield | Lincoln | Liverpool | London (City of London and Westminster) | Manchester | Newcastle upon Tyne | Norwich | Nottingham | Oxford | Peterborough | Plymouth | Portsmouth | Preston | Ripon | Saint Albans | Salford | Salisbury | Sheffield | Southampton | Stoke-on-Trent | Sunderland | Truro | Wakefield | Wells | Winchester | Wolverhampton | Worcester | York

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