We left early this morning from our questionable accomodation in Leeds for York which is only a short drive. We made a stop at Hazelbrooke Castle along the way, our first taste of what I’m sure will be many.
Not having any accomodation booked, the best part of the day was spent chasing up various hostels and hotels. So much so that we missed the free walking tour at 2:30pm. Not to be discouraged we took a walk around the old streets of York by ourselves and even joined a Ghost tour following dinner.
While York is of similar age to London, having been founded by the Romans, it is very interesting to be in a city that hasn’t visually changed a great deal since medieval times. London has burnt to the ground at least once and actually appears to be more modern than even Sydney in many regards while an English knight wouldn’t look out of place in York.
Stepping out of our car where we first parked I stumbled across the ruins of St Mary’ Abbey. Only one wall still remains behind the York Museum as its stone was recycled to build newer buildings. York Minster is now the main draw card, it is the largest gothic cathedral in northern Europe.
The structure in the above photo is Cliffords Tower built on a Norman motte and named after Roger de Clifford who was exectued and hung from the walls for opposing Edward II. According to our tour guide in 1190 the Jewish population of York, seeking protection inside the walls from a violent mob, found themselves trapped and rather than surrender killed each other while the tower was burnt around them. The tower was rebuilt in stone that apparently turned red with the blood of the Jews.
A very intersting city, it is a shame we don’t have longer here.