Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God's Own County and many believe
it should now be recognised as a country in its own right; it even has
its own special day, Yorkshire
Day, which is held on the 1st August; it is a celebration of the
general culture of Yorkshire, ranging from its history to its own dialect.
Yorkshire has some of the most beautiful
scenery in Britain, granted some of it may be bleak and wild like the
Jurassic Coast, but it
contains large areas which are widely considered to be amongst the greenest
in England, such as the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales and
Peak District National Parks.
Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills are
designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Spurn Point, Flamborough
Head and the coastal North York Moors are designated Heritage Coast
areas and are noted for their scenic views with rugged cliffs such as
the jet cliffs at Whitby, the limestone cliffs at Filey and the chalk
cliffs at Flamborough Head, and Moor House is one of England's largest
national nature reserves.
Spurn Point is a narrow, 3 miles (4.8 km)
long sand spit; it is a National Nature Reserve owned by the Yorkshire
Wildlife Trust and is noted for its cyclical nature whereby the spit
is destroyed and recreated approximately once every 250 years.
Scarborough is Britain's oldest seaside
resort dating back to the spa town-era in the 17th century, while Whitby
has been voted as the United Kingdom's best beach, with a "postcard-perfect
Yorkshire is drained by several
In western and central Yorkshire the many
rivers empty their waters into the River Ouse which reaches the North
Sea via the Humber Estuary; the most northerly of the rivers in the
Ouse system is the River Swale, which drains Swaledale before passing
through Richmond and meandering across the Vale of Mowbray; next, draining
Wensleydale, is the River Ure, which joins the Swale east of Boroughbridge;
the River Nidd rises on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
and flows along Nidderdale before reaching the Vale of York.
The Ouse is the name given to the river
after its confluence with the Ure at Ouse Gill Beck; the River Wharfe,
which drains Wharfedale, joins the Ouse upstream of Cawood.
The Rivers Aire and Calder are more southerly
contributors to the River Ouse and the most southerly Yorkshire tributary
is the River Don, which flows northwards to join the main river at Goole.
In the far north of the county the River
Tees flows eastwards through Teesdale and empties its waters into the
North Sea downstream of Middlesbrough.
The smaller River Esk flows from west to
east at the northern foot of the North York Moors to reach the sea at
The River Derwent rises on the North York
Moors, flows south then westwards through the Vale of Pickering then
turns south again to drain the eastern part of the Vale of York; it
empties into the River Ouse at Barmby on the Marsh.
To the east of the Yorkshire Wolds the
River Hull flows southwards to join the Humber Estuary at Kingston upon
The western Pennines are served by the
River Ribble which drains westwards into the Irish Sea close to Lytham
Yorkshire has a rich and bloody History
and the culture of the Yorkshire
People is an accumulated product of various different civilisations
who have directly controlled its history, including; the Celts
(Brigantes and Parisii), Romans,
Angles, Norse Vikings
and Normans amongst
The people of Yorkshire are immensely proud
of their county and local culture and it is sometimes suggested they
identify more strongly with their county than they do with their country.
Yorkshire people have their own distinctive
dialect known as Tyke, which some have argued is a fully fledged language
in its own right.
Amongst Yorkshire's unique traditions is
the Long Sword Dance,
a traditional dance not found elsewhere in England.
The most famous traditional song of Yorkshire
is On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at
("On Ilkley Moor without a hat"), it is considered the unofficial
anthem of the county.
The traditional cuisine of Yorkshire,
in common with the North of England in general, is known for using rich
tasting ingredients, especially with regard to sweet dishes, which were
affordable for the majority of people; there are several dishes which
originated in Yorkshire, or are heavily associated with it:
Yorkshire Pudding - This savoury batter
dish, is by far the best known of Yorkshire foods and is commonly served
with roast beef, vegetables and gravy to form part of the Sunday roast.
Yorkshire Curd Tart - This curd tart recipe,
which has been around since at least the 1750s is unique because of
its use of rosewater.
Parkin - This sweet ginger cake is different
from standard ginger cakes in that it includes oatmeal and treacle.
Gingerbread - This is an unusual form of
gingerbread due to having a layer of crystallised ginger in the middle,
rather than an essence of ginger or ginger shavings.
Wensleydale Cheese - This is often eaten
as an accompaniment to sweet foods; the Wensleydale pastures give the
cheese the unique flavour for which it is renowned.
Ginger Beer - This drink flavoured with
ginger, came from Yorkshire in the mid 1700s; the original recipe required
only ginger, sugar, water, lemon juice and a fungal-bacteria symbiote
known as the ginger beer plant; it only requires a few days of fermentation
to turn the mixture into ginger beer.
Forced Rhubarb - This type of Rhubarb has
now been added to the UK list of legally protected names; it is grown
in a nine square mile (23 kilometres squared) triangle area in West
Yorkshire, known as the Rhubarb
Triangle, the triangle is located between Wakefield,
Morley & Rothwell and is famous for producing early forced rhubarb.
Pontefract Cakes - These were originally
known as "Pomfret" cakes after the old Norman name for Pontefract;
they are a type of small, roughly circular black sweet measuring approximately
2 cm in diameter and 4 mm thick; they are made of Liquorice
and originally manufactured in the Yorkshire town of Pontefract; this
sweet was first created by George Dunhill from Pontefract, who in the
1760s thought to mix the liquorice plant with sugar.
The early inhabitants of Yorkshire were Celtic tribes; The Tribes consisted of the Brigantes, the largest of the tribes, the Parisii, the Carvetii, the Corieltauvi, the Cornovii and the Votadini.
The Brigantes controlled territory which
would later become all of the North Riding of Yorkshire and the West
Riding of Yorkshire; the tribe controlled most of Northern England and
more territory than any other Celtic tribe in England; that they had
the Yorkshire area as their heartland is evident in that Isurium Brigantum,
now known as Aldborough, was the capital town of their civitas under
The Parisii who controlled the area that
would become the East Riding of Yorkshire, may have been related to
the Parisii of Lutetia Parisiorum inGaul (known today as Paris, France);
their capital was at Petuaria close to the Humber estuary.
conquest of Britain began in 43 AD, however the Brigantes remained in
control of their kingdom as a client state of Rome for an extended period,
reigned over by the Brigantian monarchs Cartimandua and her husband
Venutius; initially, this situation suited both the Romans and the Brigantes
who were known as the most militant tribe in Britain.
The Romans, under general Petillius Cerialis,
conquered the Brigantes in 71 AD and the fortified city of Eboracum,
now known as York, was named as the capital of Britannia Inferior and
joint-capital of all Roman Britain.
When the Roman armies left Britain, a lot
of it then came under the control of the Anglo-Saxons
who had been invited to defend the remaining romanised people against
Larter on in history, an army of Danish
Vikings, the Great Heathen
Army as its enemies often referred to it, invaded the Northumbrian territory
in 866 AD; the Danes conquered and assumed what is now modern day York
and renamed it Jórvík, making it the capital city of a
new Danish kingdom under the same name.
The Danes went on to conquer an even larger
area of England which afterwards became known as the Danelaw; but whereas
most of the Danelaw was still English land, albeit in submission to
Viking overlords, it was in the Kingdom of Jórvík that
the only truly Viking territory on mainland Britain was ever established.
After the Vikings came the Normans
invasion in 1066 and the Norman Conquest, leading to Englands first
true king, William the Conqueror.
Their is a lot more History
to recount including the Black
Death which reached Yorkshire in 1349, killing around a third of
The House of York and the Wars
of the Roses:
Yorkist king Richard III grew up at Middleham; when King Richard II
was overthrown in 1399, antagonism between the House of York and the
House of Lancaster, both branches of the royal House of Plantagenet,
began to emerge.
Eventually the two houses fought for the
throne of England in a series of civil wars, commonly known as the Wars
of the Roses; some of the battles took place in Yorkshire, such as those
at Wakefield and Towton, the latter of which is known as the bloodiest
battle ever fought on English soil; Richard III was the last Yorkist
Henry Tudor of the House of Lancaster,
defeated and killed Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field; he then
became King Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York daughter of Yorkist
Edward IV, ending the wars.
The two roses of white and red, emblems
of the Houses of York and Lancaster respectively, were combined to form
the Tudor Rose of England.
Yorkshire was divided into three ridings
and the Ainsty of York; the term 'riding' is of Viking origin and derives
from Threthingr meaning a third part; the three ridings in Yorkshire
were named the East Riding, West Riding and North Riding; the East and
North Ridings of Yorkshire were separated by the River Derwent and the
West and North Ridings were separated by the Ouse and the Ure/Nidd watershed.
In 1974 the three ridings of Yorkshire
were abolished and York which had been independent of the three ridings,
was incorporated into the new county called North Yorkshire.