from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yorkshire Flag
Yorkshire UK 1851 locator map.svg
Status: Traditional county
Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
Area :
- 1831 :
- 1901 :
- 1991 :

14,850 km²
15,718 km²
11,903 km²
ISO 3166-2 : GB-YKS
Population :
- 1831:
- 1901:
- 1991:

1,371,359 - 092.35 people / km²
3,512,838 - 223.49 people / km²
3,978,484 - 334.24 people / km²
Yorkshire Ridings.png
Units: 1 North • 2 West • 3 East

Yorkshire is by far the largest former county in northern England and the United Kingdom . Because of their size, their functions were increasingly taken over by subunits over time. Despite numerous territorial changes over the centuries, Yorkshire retained its importance as a geographical name as well as a cultural area . Yorkshire is often referred to as God's Own County by its residents .

The county is represented by the House of York White Rose . This is a central component of the Yorkshire flag, which was officially certified in its current form by the Flag Institute on July 29, 2008 . The Yorkshire Day is a traditional feast day on which the Culture Yorkshire is actively lived out.

The name of the county is made up of the ending - shire (from English shire = "county") and York , the name of the historic capital. Literally translated, the name means: "The part [of England] that belongs to York".



The county is located in the north of England and is by far the largest former county of England with an area of ​​11,903 km². Former counties bordering Yorkshire are ( counterclockwise , starting north): County Durham , Westmorland , Lancashire , Cheshire , Derbyshire , Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire .

The biggest cities of Yorkshire are:


Yorkshire Geological Classification

Yorkshire is bounded north by the Tees , east by the North Sea , southeast by the Humber Delta and south by the Ouse and Wharfe .

The Pennines rise to the west of Yorkshire . To the east, the Cleveland region, the Vale of York and the Humberhead Levels join in parallel . Further to the east are the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds , which are separated from each other by the Vale of Pickering , as well as the Holderness plain in the southeast of the area.

The history of the Pennines dates back to the Carbon Age . Plains such as the Vale of York, for example, and the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds were formed in the Jura during the Permian and Triassic periods . In the Cretaceous evolution of the Yorkshire countryside finally ended by the emergence of Holderness.


The Pennines are the highest mountain range in Yorkshire. It runs through the west of the county from north to south and is mostly characterized by heathland on limestone . Historically, the Mickle Fell (788 m) is the highest elevation of Yorkshire, but it came under the Government Act 1972 from 1974 to County Durham , so that the Whernside (736 m) is considered the highest mountain in modern Yorkshire. The mountain range is drained eastward via the Tees , Swale , Ure , Nidd , Wharfe , Aire and Don rivers.

The Yorkshire River System

The two connected valleys, the Vale of York and Vale of Mowbray, have a layer of sand and clay , paired with sediments that were deposited at the end of the last ice age after the glaciers retreated. The North York Moors are a predominantly forested hilly area, consisting of slate , sand and chalk rock. Fossilizations of corals and other living things can be found in many places . The Vale of York is drained via the Derwent , the surrounding areas by its tributaries. On the Derwent, there are partly natural meadow landscapes. The Holderness also consists of layers of clay from the Vistula Ice Age . They form a relatively flat plain with some peat-filled depressions, which indicate the earlier existence of lakes. The fertile soil in the plain allows intensive farming; However, there are hardly any forest areas. The Holderness is drained by the Hull .

A line of white cliffs topped with green turf protruding into the sea.
Flamborough Head

The Yorkshire Wolds are in the form of a gently sloping plateau towards Holderness, intersected by some deep, but flat valleys of glacial origin. The limestone ensures good drainage of the soil, which means that there is hardly any surface water in the form of streams and lakes. At Flamborough Head the wolds rise in the form of a sheer cliff; along the shore there are rock towers and eroded caves. The progressive erosion along the cliff poses a danger for walkers - the coastline suffers the highest rate of erosion in Europe: around 1.5 m or two million tons of land mass is lost every year. 3% of this mass is deposited again further south on the Spurn spit. Many settlements have fallen victim to erosion over the past 2000 years. The port of Ravenspurn, which sank in the 14th century, is an example of this . Since 1951, attempts have been made by the East Riding of Yorkshire Authority to contain erosion.

The Nidderdale , North Pennines and Howardian Hills have been designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty . The Peak District , the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales are protected as national parks. The Bempton Cliffs , the Blacktoft Sands , the Fairburn Ings and the Old Moor are designated bird sanctuaries of the RSPB and the North Cave Wetlands , the Pott Eric Carr , Spurn Point and Wheldrake Ings are the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust manages.


Age of the Celts

The Brigantes and Parisians were two Celtic tribes and were the first sedentary settlers in Yorkshire. The Brigantes controlled an area that would later become the North and West Riding . This made them the Celtic tribe whose territory had the largest extent on English territory. Isurium Brigantum (now Aldborough ) was the capital of the civitas of the brigands. Six of the nine Brigantian Poleis described by Claudius Ptolemaeus in his atlas Geographike Hyphegesis were in what is now Yorkshire. The Parisians settled in what is now the East Riding . Their main town, Petuaria , was on the north bank of the Humberestuars. In 43 BC BC began the conquest of Britain by the Romans. They continued to let the Celts rule over their empire, but de facto gained power over the client kingdom .

Roman occupation

Cartimandua , the queen of the brigands, divorced Venutius for unknown reasons and took Vellocatus as his new husband. Because of her good connections to the Romans, she was able to take control of the empire. In the second attempt, however, Venutius managed to regain control. In 71 AD the area was finally conquered by the troops of Quintus Petillius Cerialis .

The area was able to develop constantly under Roman rule. Eboracum (today's York ) was declared by the Romans to be the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior and of the whole of Great Britain . In the last two years of the general Septimius Severus' life , he ruled the Roman Empire from Eboracum.

Emperor Constantius I died in Yorkshire during a visit in 306 AD in front of his son Constantine , who subsequently became famous for his services to Christianity. In the course of the fifth century, the last Roman troops left the island as the Roman Empire fell apart. This resulted in economic decline and massive population decline in much of England.

Second Celtic period and Anglo-Saxons

After the retreat of the Romans, the Kingdom of Ebrauc and the better-known Kingdom of Elmet were again able to develop two small Celtic empires in Yorkshire. Elmet stretched from the York Valley to the Pennines Divide , with the Sheaf to the south and Wharfe to the east forming the approximate boundaries. In the north Elmet bordered the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Deira and in the south on the also Anglo-Saxon Mercia. To the west of Elmet was the Celtic area of Craven , preserved in the name of what is now the District of Craven , which seems to have been a smaller British kingdom. Elmet was conquered by Deira in 616 under his king Edwin and incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that later became Northumbria . At its greatest extent, Northumbria stretched from the Irish Sea to the North Sea and from Edinburgh to Hallamshire in South Yorkshire .

Kingdom of Jórvík

An army made up of Danish Vikings called the Great Pagan Army invaded Northumbria in 866 . After the conquest of Eboracum, the city was renamed Jórvík and made the capital of a new Danish kingdom of the same name. The extent of the empire corresponded to the southern part of Northumbria and approximately today's Yorkshire.

The Danes moved on and took control of an even more extensive area of ​​what is now England, which would later be named Danelag . Last but not least, the Vikings ensured that trade between the British Isles , north-western Europe , the regions bordering the Mediterranean and the Middle East flourished.

Coin from the reign of Erik I.

The kingdom was founded in 875 by the Dane Halfdan Ragnarsson , most of the time ruled by Danish kings and populated by the families or descendants of the Vikings. However, in the last few years of its existence, it gradually slipped into the hands of the Norwegians. Erik I was a power-conscious regent who intended to enforce Norwegian law throughout Jórvík.

After more than 100 years of explosive existence, the era of the Jórvík Kingdom came to an end. In its place, the English Kingdom of Wessex was established, which Northumbria granted a certain autonomy. The English kings respected the customs of the people of Norwegian descent and left the legislation to the Norwegian nobility living in the country.

Norman conquest

In the weeks leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, King Harald II was distracted by other happenings in Yorkshire. His brother Tostig Godwinson and Harald III. , the King of Norway , planned to take power in the north of England after winning the Battle of Fulford . The English king marched north with his army, where they met the army of Tostig and Harald III at the Battle of Stamford Bridge . met. The Norwegian army was decisively defeated and both of its commanders were killed. However, Harald II immediately had to move his army south again, where William the Conqueror went ashore. The king was defeated by William at Hastings and England was conquered by the Normans .

The rural population of northern England rebelled against their oppression by the Normans in September 1069 . When they tried to take control of York, the Normans burned the city down. What followed was a campaign of revenge by Wilhelm against the population, which went down in history as the Harrying of the North . The devastation of fields and villages robbed the inhabitants of all livelihoods, so that large areas of Yorkshire were depopulated. Any resistance the Normans encountered was consistently put down. Many of those who survived the raid died of starvation over the course of the following winter. The chronicler Ordericus Vitalis estimated the number of people who died from undersupply at over 100,000.

In the age of the Normans many monasteries were founded as well as major cities today such as Barnsley , Doncaster , Hull , Leeds , Scarborough , Sheffield and others. Only Bridlington , Pocklington and above all York have an ancient prehistory.

On August 22, 1138, Yorkshire near Northallerton was the scene of the Standard Battle , a war of succession to the throne between the Scottish and English armies.

The population grew steadily until a great famine struck from 1315 to 1322. In 1349 Yorkshire was finally struck by the Black Death , which killed about a third of the population at the time.

Wars of the Roses

After the fall of Richard II in 1399 , a rivalry began to develop between the noble houses of York and Lancaster , branches of the House of Plantagenet . The houses soon fought for the English royal throne in a series of armed conflicts. Some of these Wars of the Roses, such as the battles of Wakefield and Towton, took place in Yorkshire, the latter being said to be the bloodiest on English soil. Richard III was the last king of the house of York.

Henry VII of the House of Tudor , succeeding the House of Lancaster, killed Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and became King of England. He married Elizabeth of York , daughter of the Yorkist Edward IV, and ended the war streak. The white rose of the House of York was immediately combined with the red rose of Lancaster to form the Tudor rose . The old rivalry between the former noble houses has continued to this day, especially at sporting events between Yorkshire and Lancashire. The most prestigious duels are the Roses Match between the cricket teams of the two counties and the Roses Tournament between the universities of York and Lancaster .

Civil war and textile industry

The development of the wool industry was concentrated in the West Riding , where many budding entrepreneurs had built their water-powered mills on rivers. The cities of Wakefield and Halifax in particular prospered enormously in the heyday of this industry.

The Reformation began in Yorkshire under King Henry VIII . The associated dissolution of the English monasteries in 1536 led to the so-called Pilgrimage of Grace . Catholics who continued to practice their beliefs were captured and executed under the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

During the English Civil War , which erupted between the King and Parliament in 1642 , Yorkshire was divided into camps. Shortly before the outbreak of war, the king was denied entry into the city of Hull , while the North Riding showed themselves to be very loyal to him. The stronghold of the royalists was York; from there they conquered the cities of Leeds and Wakefield . With the Battle of Adwalton Moor won , they took control of all of Yorkshire with the exception of Hull. However, the army of parliamentarians was soon able to recapture the country piece by piece and won the decisive victory over the royal troops in the Battle of Marston Moor . The royalists lost control of the whole of northern England.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Yorkshire's wool centers continued to develop, while coal mining began gradually in the West Riding. The expansion of roads and canals was intensified in the 18th century. In the 19th century, the places Harrogate and Scarborough developed into well-known baths in England due to the healing properties attributed to the mineral water.

Modern Yorkshire

Salts Mill in Saltaire , Bradford , listed as World Heritage by UNESCO

The 19th century saw an industrial revolution , particularly in the areas of coal, textiles and steel (the latter specifically in Sheffield). The rapid population growth resulted in diseases such as cholera (especially in 1832 and 1848). However, improvements in hygiene could already be achieved by the end of the century by installing a sewer system and a water supply with tap water. The installation of a railway network also facilitated mobility in previously remote areas of Yorkshire. In 1889, county councils were introduced for the three Ridings , but large cities with the vast majority of the population were administered independently through so-called county boroughs .

During the Second World War , Yorkshire played an important role with its numerous bases of the RAF Bomber Command . In the 1970s, like the UK as a whole, Yorkshire underwent major administrative reforms. In 1974, Yorkshire lost its administrative function through the controversial Local Government Act 1972 . The then established county of Humberside in the southeast was dissolved again in 1996 and the new Unitary Authority East Riding of Yorkshire was formed instead . At the same time was Region Yorkshire and the Humber founded whose boundaries coincide roughly with those of the historic Yorkshire.


William Wilberforce , leader in the fight against the slave trade and Member of the British Parliament from 1784 to 1812.

Since 1290 Yorkshire has been represented by two MPs in the House of Commons . After unification with Scotland in 1707, Yorkshire was represented by two delegates in the British Parliament until 1800 and in the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832 . In 1821 two more MPs were added by the dissolution of the constituency of Grampound. As in other counties, there were several county boroughs in Yorkshire . The oldest of these was the City of York , which was founded as early as 1265. Through the Reform Act 1832 , the representation of Yorkshire was transferred to the Ridings of the county. Since then each riding has sent its own delegate to parliament.

Since the general election in 1865, the West Riding of Yorkshire was divided into a north, east and south West Riding for electoral purposes. This mode was retained until 1885 when the distribution of seats in parliament was fundamentally reorganized. The reorganization provided for a better exercise of the legislature and the establishment of 26 new constituencies. In addition, minor reforms were added in 1888 to administer the eight Yorkshire county boroughs.

In 1918 and again in the 1950s the electoral system was reformed. The largest and most controversial reform in Yorkshire's administrative history was the Local Government Act 1972 , which came into effect in 1974. Through him all three Ridings (as well as Yorkshire itself) lost their administrative function and their councils were dissolved. In their place, new metropolitan or non-metropolitan counties were introduced with completely changed boundaries.

While many government officials and Prince Charles assured that the reform would not diminish the importance of Yorkshire's historical boundaries or traditional culture, advocacy groups such as the Yorkshire Ridings Society insist on greater recognition of the historic county. In 1996 the administrative importance of the East Riding of Yorkshire as a ceremonial county and as a unitary authority (with Hull as an independent UA ) was restored and the former, since 1974 existing county of Humberside was dissolved. At the same time was Region Yorkshire and the Humber founded whose boundaries coincide roughly with those of the historic Yorkshire. It has a constituency for European elections, from which six delegates are sent to the European Parliament .

Culture and sights

Long Sword Dance

The Long Sword Dance is a traditional folk dance in Yorkshire. The county also has its own language, the Yorkshire dialect, and an unofficial anthem entitled On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at (= "On Ilkley Moor without a hat"). The dialect spoken in Yorkshire is called "Tyke", as are the county's residents. In dialect a distinction is made between you (“thou”) and you (“you”). Traces of the Viking heritage can still be found in the dialect.

Yorkshire is home to the Arctic Monkeys (Sheffield), ABC (Sheffield), Heaven 17 (Sheffield), Moloko (Sheffield), Joe Cocker (Sheffield), Pulp (Sheffield), Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs (Leeds), Chumbawamba (Leeds) as well as the singer Corinne Bailey Rae (Leeds) and the 80s duo Soft Cell (Leeds). The Housemartins were founded in Kingston-upon-Hull (and called their debut album "London: 0, Hull: 4"). Folk singer Kate Rusby is also from Yorkshire.

From a literary point of view, the Brontë siblings (Charlotte, Anne & Emily) from Haworth , West Yorkshire should be emphasized, their novels, for example " Jane Eyre " (by Charlotte - 1847) or " Agnes Gray " (by Anne - 1847), at least have classic status in the English-speaking world. Younger writers of note are AS Byatt from Sheffield and Alan Bennett from Leeds.

The Yorkshire Terrier was bred in the county of Yorkshire, whose name it bears, at the end of the 19th century. He comes from the poorest quarters of the northern English industrial cities of the 19th century. The Yorkshire Terrier's job was to hunt rats and mice in the cities, but it was also used to hunt rabbits - illegally.


Yorkshire has a long history in sports such as soccer , rugby league , cricket , squash and horse racing .

The county's cricket club , Yorkshire County Cricket Club , is one of England's 18 first-class counties . With 33 titles, the club is the record champion in the County Championship . The Kiplingcotes Derby near Market Weighton , widely recognized as England's oldest horse race, first took place in 1519. Yorkshire currently hosts nine regular horse races.

Middlesbrough FC logo

Yorkshire is officially recognized by FIFA as the birthplace of football. Sheffield FC, founded in 1857, is certified to be the oldest football club in the world. Because the club attached importance to its status as an amateur club, it was overtaken by the other clubs at the end of the 19th century and today plays in the Northern Premier League Division One South , the fourth highest amateur league in England, equivalent to the 8th level of the English League systems . The most successful Yorkshire football clubs are Barnsley FC , Doncaster Rovers , Hull City , Leeds United , Middlesbrough FC , Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United , all of which are currently (August 2010) in the second division Football League Championship . Middlesbrough FC gained international fame by reaching the 2005/06 UEFA Cup final . Outstanding footballers from Yorkshire were the goalkeeper and winner of the 1966 World Cup , Gordon Banks and the two-time European Footballer of the Year Kevin Keegan , who received this award in 1978 and 1979 during his time at Hamburger SV . Well-known Yorkshire officials included Herbert Chapman , Brian Clough , Bill Nicholson , George Raynor and Don Revie .

Hillsborough Stadium

Yorkshire's largest stadium is Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield with a current capacity of 39,814. It was the scene of the Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989 , when 96 Liverpool FC fans were pressed to death during an FA Cup semi-final match .

In 1895 the sport of rugby league and the rugby football league (then called Northern Rugby Football Union ) of the north of England were founded in a hotel in Huddersfield . It was founded after 20 clubs left the Rugby Football Union , which refused to introduce a paid professional league. The only professional league in the northern hemisphere for rugby league is today the Super League with 14 teams. It includes the Huddersfield Giants , Hull FC , Bradford Bulls , Hull Kingston Rovers , Wakefield Trinity Wildcats , Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos from Yorkshire .

Since 1977 the Snooker World Championship has been held annually from mid-April to early May at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield .

Culinary specialties

Yorkshire pudding (top left) as part of a Sunday roast

Yorkshire's traditional cuisine largely corresponds to the eating habits of the rural population of Northern England . Rich and sweet dishes are widespread. Several Yorkshire dishes are closely associated with Yorkshire pudding, by far the best known. It is usually served with roast beef and vegetables as a traditional Sunday roast .

Other specialties are a tart made from quark in rose water , so-called parkin , a special gingerbread made from oat flakes and syrup, and a hard cheese called Wensleydale, which is often used in desserts . Ginger Beer also comes from Yorkshire and originated in the 18th century. Yorkshire and its historic capital, York, played an important role in the confectionery industry through companies such as Rowntree’s , Terry’s and Thorntons , making many of England's most popular confectionary products. Another confectionery rich in tradition are so-called pikelets , which are slightly flatter than the classic English crumpets . The Rhubarb Triangle is a 23 km² growing area for Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb in West Yorkshire between Wakefield , Morley and Rothwell .

Yorkshire has a large number of breweries, most of which specialize in the production of pale ale , so-called bitter beer . Brewing history goes back at least to the 12th century, when the monks of Fountains Abbey started brewing beer. Up to 60 barrels of ale were produced every ten days , which corresponds to around 9820 liters . Most of the breweries were founded during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Economy and Infrastructure

Yorkshire has a diverse economy. The largest city of Leeds is Yorkshire's commercial and industrial center and one of the UK's largest financial centers. In the past, the coal and textile industries played an elementary role in Leeds and the surrounding area. Today, the service sector is becoming increasingly important. Sheffield is traditionally characterized by heavy industry (steel and coal). Later, however, the manufacturing industries were displaced by retail and the tertiary sector. The Meadowhall is the fifth largest shopping center in Great Britain. Bradford , Halifax , Keighley and Huddersfield are traditional places for processing wool, but their economic power declined more and more. Kingston upon Hull Harbor is the largest in Yorkshire, but the importance of fishing has declined significantly in recent years. Today he is therefore concentrating on international goods logistics. Many rural regions are still dependent on agriculture today, but tourism offers also contribute to sales today. Well-known Yorkshire-based companies include Morrisons (Bradford), Jet2.com (Leeds), Little Chef (Sheffield) and McCain Foods (Scarborough).


A1 (M) and M62 motorway junction at Ferrybridge , West Yorkshire (under construction, 2005)

Road traffic

Yorkshire's most famous trunk road is the A1 , the successor to the historic Great North Road , which runs centrally through the county on the way from London to Edinburgh. A second major trunk road is the A19 , which runs parallel east of the A1 from Doncaster to Newcastle upon Tyne in North East England . In an east-west direction the M62 Motorway runs through Yorkshire. It begins in Liverpool, crosses the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire at Huddersfield and ends about 25 km before Kingston upon Hull in the East Riding . The M1 Motorway runs from southern England to Leeds . In 1999, a 13 km extension of the motorway around Leeds was opened with a connection to the A1 to the north.

Rail transport

The East Coast Main Line is a long-distance railway line that runs largely parallel to the A1 through Yorkshire. The main railway line from west to east is the North TransPennine , which runs from Liverpool via Leeds to Hull.

Before the railroad era, the ports of Hull and Whitby played an important role in the international trade in goods. Historic canals such as the Leeds and Liverpool Canal were also used. Today the European mainland can be reached via daily ferries. P&O Ferries connects Kingston upon Hull with Zeebrugge in Belgium and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Leeds / Bradford Airport - Yorkshire's largest airport

air traffic

Yorkshire's largest airport in terms of passenger numbers is Leeds / Bradford Airport , the 17th largest airport in the United Kingdom. A second scheduled airport is Doncaster / Sheffield Airport , which opened in 2005. Sheffield City Airport had existed since 1997, but its operation was sometimes very controversial due to the competitive situation with Leeds / Bradford, the associated low occupancy rate and the good rail connections to London. In 2008 it was finally closed due to redundancy.


The main focus of tourism is in North Yorkshire , especially in York , Harrogate , Scarborough and the two national parks of North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales .

Web links

Commons : Yorkshire  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Yorkshire  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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