Sunday 07 February 2015 – York.
A quick update as to where the last post left us… We had had a very enjoyable morning and had just finished a pizza lunch and a nice glass of wine after visiting all the parts of central York that we were going to be able to do with the time we had. This after we planned to spend some time walking around the museum gardens before returning to the hotel for a rest before dinner.
I had been looking forward to visiting the gardens as they contain some really interesting ruins and I am all about the ruins!
The gardens were orginally created in 1828 when ten acres of the grounds of the former St Mary’s Abbey were gifted by the royal family to the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for the creation of a museum and the development of botanical gardens.
Our first stop was St Leonard’s Hospital. At its peak in the middle ages it was the biggest hospital in England, holding up to 240 patients. I did not realise that hospitals had been going for such a long time ! Construction started in the 1220’s and it was closed during the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII in the late 1530s.
We followed some of the remaining sections of the old city walls around to the Multangular Tower, the best known of the remaining Roman towers in the city. It was built in the late 4th century to hold a large catapult and it has ten sides, hence its name. You can quite clearly see all the different materials used to construct and maintain the walls over the years.
Inside the tower there are five stone coffins from the Roman period that were found in other locations in the city.
This picture, sadly the light was poor, shows the different levels of wall built over the centuries, form the original Roman wall started in 70 AD, through the dark ages up to the 10th century, past the Norman period and finally Medieval times in 13th.
This led us over to St Mary’s Abbey – which I have seen loads of photos of and particularly love as a set of ruins. A church was first built here back in Norman times in 1055, though the ruins here are from a modifications starting in the late 13th century. Like the hospital the abbey was pulled down during the reformation in 1539 and a lot of the stone was used elsewhere. I loved them…
As the afternoon started to fade we headed back to the hotel, walking up the road outside of those ancient abbey walls.
We bought a glass of wine in the bar and took them back to our room for a rest after quite a long day of walking. Later on we noticed a wonderful sunset out the window, so I grabbed my camera and took a very fast walk back to St Mary’s Abbey. I just made it in time to grab a few images – and left the tripod in our room.
We had booked dinner at El Piano a highly recommended vegetarian restaurant and it was really full, it is a casual cafe style restaurant with really nice food and wine. We left very full.
I took the camera as I wanted to get a final photo of the Minster.
On Sunday morning, we didn’t really rush out of bed, but we were still up early enough that we had to wander around again trying find somewhere to get breakfast. Even though we had a great breakfast the day before we wanted to try a different place. It took a while but we did found an open cafe and they did do a really good full English – I over ate yet again. On the way we passed through the Shambles again, and so much quieter than yesterday!
And then that was it, back to York station and its famous old clock.
And back to London, looking out on the loveliest weather of the whole weekend, via another dirty window… It was another good train ride back, fast and on time, and I didn’t eat as much as I did on the way up!
We loved York, it is a really nice town, there was a good vibe and so many things to look at. if you live in England or are planning to come here on holiday I highly recommend a visit.