Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On 14th May I had just a few hours in York , famous for its Minster and the Shambles and other old buildings, so I wandered around with a friend snapping photos without paying too much attention as to what the buildings actually were. Apologies for not providing much detail with the photographs – I hope they will speak for themselves; or, if you’re especially interested, then they will encourage you to visit York and learn more. I was visiting together with another old school-friend whom I hadn’t seen in over 30 years, so my attention was more on getting re-connected with my friend than re-connected with York. In my childhood I came to York only occasionally, usually with family visitors interested in seeing the historic city.

At one time presumably all the city lay behind the city wall and was entered through gates such as this one:

Much of the old city wall still exists, and it's possible to walk on top of the wall, from where you get good views of the Minster. Here's a section of the wall:

View of the Minster from the wall:

The Abbey, destroyed when King Henry VIII dissolved monasteries in Britain, would have been outside the City walls, but is now well within the city proper. ("The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the formal process between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monastic communities in England, Wales and Ireland and confiscated their property. He was given the authority to do this by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, and by the First Suppression Act (1536) and the Second Suppression Act (1539)". Ref: Wikipedia.org):

I love the details of the old buildings, such as these window panes and (below) the carvings on the external window frames:

This useful plaque shows us that the building was constructed sometime before 1606:

One street in York which is particularly well-known is The Shambles. This type of narrow street survives from the 16th century, and one detail I remember from my school-days is that in those days cities had no sewer system and slop buckets and chamber pots were simply emptied onto the street below from upstairs windows - passers-by beware!

York Minster seen in the background from a street near The Shambles:

Here are some different views of York Minister, which lies in the centre of the city:

Street scene:

Outdoor cafes in England are still a surprise to me - they didn't exist when I was young. Have continental fashions come to Britain, or do we have global warming to thank?

An old-fashioned pub sign:

Like many other British cities, York has many parks and gardens with beautiful trees, where people of all ages can pass the time:

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