Uncover York’s past at these 7 history-laden events
The city of York has seen some interesting times and cultures, from the Romans to the Vikings and beyond. No matter if you’re into history or not you’ll find it interesting to learn about the city’s rich past, which involves everything from eccentric antiques collectors and sword yielding northmen to Kit Kats and chocolate oranges.
1. Castle Howard Mausoleum & Chapel Tour
Castle Howard is an 18th century country house in the Howardian Hills northeast of York. The house and grounds are open to the public, and on the 16th of July they will give a tour of the Howard family’s magnificent private mausoleum and chapel. The mausoleum was built in 1729 and was said to have cost over £10,000 at the time. Today the mausoleum is a Grade I listed building, so be sure not to miss this rare opportunity.
16 July, 10:00 – 12:30 | www.castlehoward.co.uk
2. Fossgate Festival
Fossgate is an ancient street dating back to Roman times, although it wasn’t formed into a proper street until the Vikings arrived and built a bridge across the River Foss. Today the street hosts some of the best shops, restaurants and pubs in York, and several times during the summer months, the street is the location of the Fossgate Festival, where you can go to enjoy food, music, drinks and shopping.
3 August & 28 August, 10:00 – 18:00 | www.facebook.com/fossgate
3. Little Cinema at Treasurer’s House
Owned by the National Trust, the townhouse stands on the site of the house of the first Treasurer of York, who was appointed in 1091. Since then it served as home to several wealthy families, but by the end of the 19th century, the Treasurer’s House was in dire need of care. Thankfully, a fascinating and wealthy collector named Frank Green bought and restored it. Frank was a very particular man and he used the house as a stage for his collection of antiques, which is how it still stands today. Is there a more perfect location to sit back and take in York’s historic past? We think not.
1 – 30 September, 11:00 – 16:30 | www.nationaltrust.org.uk
4. Stoneyard Open Day at York Minster
The York Minster is the Cathedral of York, built between 1220 and 1472 and designed to be the greatest cathedral in the kingdom. The site has always been important for York, having hosted a church for over thousand years and a Roman fortress even before that. With the level of detail in the architecture it’s no wonder that preserving the cathedral is a massive operation. A team of skilled craftsmen and women are continuously working on restoration and conservation, and this September the stonemasons are inviting you to see their work up close.
9 September, 10:00 | yorkminster.org
5. 950th anniversary Stamford Bridge Battlefield Walk
York is famous for its Viking invasion of 1066, giving the city its name from Jorvik, which later turned to York. That makes this year the 950th anniversary of the battle at Stamford Bridge, which was fought between Norwegian king Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson against the English king Harold Godwinson. Jorvik Viking Centre is inviting you to join them on a visit to the site of the battle.
September 25 – 10:30 – 11:30 | jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk
6. Chocolate Week at Chocolate Story
From the late 1700’s and onwards the names Rowntree’s, Terry’s of York and Cravens became synonymous with the city, because York, unlike the other northern cities that made a living off wool, cotton and steel, begun producing confectionary. Smarties, Chocolate Orange and Kit Kats are still made here to this date, and one of the city’s top attractions is York Chocolate Story. Naturally they have their own Chocolate Week where you can take a guided tour along the chocolate trail, view exhibitions, and learn more about the people behind the chocolate industry in York.
10 – 16 October | www.yorkschocolatestory.com
7. 33rd Jorvik Viking Festival
Not surprisingly, York is all about the Vikings, and this year Jorvik Viking Centre are hosting their 33rd Jorvik Viking Festival. Here visitors can expect to see living history and experience what it was like 1000 years ago when the city was under Viking rule. True to tradition, the festival will be putting on events like the Strongest Viking and the Best Beard competitions, which are not something you’d want to miss out on.
February 20 – February 26, 2017 | www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk
The Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre places you directly in the historic heart of York, a perfect starting point for anyone wanting to explore the city’s rich history and interesting attractions.