York is a city located on the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, and was once known as Jórvík, in North Yorkshire.
Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state, but later its leaders became more hostile and the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory. The city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD, it became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior.
Even though the Roman town and fortress were on high ground, by 400 AD the town became subject to occasional flooding from the Rivers Ouse and Foss, and the population reduced. York declined in the post-Roman era, and was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century. Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, and York became his chief city
In 866, the Vikings raided and captured York. The Vikings used the city as a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe. The last ruler of Jórvík was Eric Bloodaxe, he was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification of England.
In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, the people of York rebelled but William the Conqueror soon put and end to the rebellion when he destroyed everything from York to Durham.
In the 12th century York started to prosper, but sadly in 1190, York Castle was the site of an infamous massacre of its Jewish inhabitants, in which at least 150 Jews died although some say it was as high as 500.
The city, through its location on the River Ouse and its proximity to the Great North Road, became a major trading centre. King John granted the city's first charter in 1212. York became a major cloth manufacturing and trading centre. Edward I further stimulated the city's economy by using the city as a base for his war in Scotland.
Guy Fawkes, who was born and educated in York, was a member of a group of Roman Catholic restorationists that planned the Gunpowder Plot.
In 1644, during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians besieged York. On the arrival of Prince Rupert, with an army of 15,000 men, the siege was lifted. The Parliamentarians retreated some 6 miles from York with Rupert in pursuit, before turning on his army and soundly defeating it at the Battle of Marston Moor. The siege was renewed and the city surrendered to Sir Thomas Fairfax on 15 July.
George Hudson brought the railway to York in 1839, called York and North Midland Railway, it helped establish York as a major railway centre by the late 19th century.
In 1942, the city was bombed during the Second World War by the German Luftwaffe and 92 people were killed and hundreds injured.
With the emergence of tourism, the historic core of York became one of the city's major assets, and in 1968 it was designated a conservation area.