Film ID:
YFA 821



Visitor Tabs


This film outlines York's history and its monuments.  It includes scenes of York railway station as well as images of York taken from around the city walls.

Title:  York, Ideal Films Ltd. 

Title:  ‘No town in England has a more ancient history than York.  Three Roman Emperors visited it and one, Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, was probably born there.’

The film opens in York railway station and includes many passengers walking along the platform.  The city can be seen from the top of the Royal York Hotel showing the Railway Institute, a tram travelling along Station Road, the statue of Leeman and the York Minster. 

Intertitle:  ‘Some of the old Roman walls, repaired by Edward III, still remain.’

From the wall, the city can be seen and includes a steam-powered vehicle travelling across Lendal Bridge as well as trams, a horse and cart, and a car.  This is followed by more scenes of the old city walls. 

Intertitle:  ‘Its ‘bars’ or gates are among the finest examples of medieval fortification.’  ‘One of these, Walmgate Bar, was erected by Edward I, and did good service in the many sieges of York.’

Walmgate Bar is shown followed by views of Micklegate Bar with its coat of arms.

Intertitle:  ‘The heads of rebels were exhibited over |Micklegate Bar: that of Hotspur in 1403 and of the Jacobites after the battle of Culloden in 1746.’  ‘It is surmounted by the arms of England and France – a reminder of the days when kings of England claimed to be kings of France as well.’

Further scenes of Micklegate include the crowded street full of pedestrians and traffic coming into the city centre being directed by a policeman. 

Intertitle:  ‘Bootham Bar dates from the end of the 13th century. It has steps leading up to the City Walls.’  ‘Not far away is St William’s College, built in 1453.  It was a centre of activity in the days of the Civil War.’

The Minster and some houses can be seen in the background of Bootham Bar.  There is also a scene of St. William’s College. 

Intertitle:  ‘But the glory of York is the Cathedral – the largest of English medieval churches.’

The western front of the Minster is shown with an open-top car driving towards the camera. 

Intertitle:  ‘Through a beautiful approach you reach the South Side, the usual entrance.  Just overhead is a remarkable circular light known as the ‘Marigold Window.’

Intertitle:  ‘Over the splendid West Door is carved in stone the story of Adam and Eve.’

At the south side of the Cathedral, the Marigold window can be seen as well as exterior shots of the Minster, the towers, the west door, and carvings which show the story of Adam and Eve. 

Intertitle:  ‘And facing it, beyond the choir, is the gorgeously ornamented altar.’  ‘With the building are preserved the Ulphus Horn by which, according to tradition, an Anglo-Saxon prince transferred his lands to the Cathedral . .’  the horn is held up  ‘ . . and an ancient coronation chair, used by many Saxon kings, as well as by Edward IV, Richard III and James I.’  ‘The north transept contains five lancet windows each 54 feet high, known as ‘The Five Sisters’.’

The interior and altar are shown. The Anglo Saxon Ulphus horn and coronation chair are followed by the north transept and the five sisters windows.

Intertitle:  ‘Not far from the Cathedral is the King’s Manor.  Once a royal residence it is now a school for blind children.  (The arms and cypher [sic] of James I are still above the entrance).’

There is a brief shot of the entrance way as well as scenes of the rest of the building, some of which is covered in ivy.

Intertitle:  ‘In the courtyard the boys, conquering their affliction, play at skittles and cricket.’

At the school, students are playing cricket and skittles, and in a playground children are playing on swings and a large see-saw.

Intertitle:  ‘Others make wicker baskets…..’ ‘….while one of them reads a book by the Braille system.’

The boys are lined up in a row weaving baskets, while at the head of the line, a boy sits in a chair and reads to them.

Intertitle:  ‘We next proceed to the market place and . .’ 

There is a brief shot of the open-air market in Parliament Street crowded with shoppers. 

Intertitle:  ‘...then through some of the quaint streets.  The ‘Shambles’ is so narrow that neighbours can shake hands across the street from their top stories.’

People walk along the Shambles with carts and pushchairs, a boy turns to look at the camera. 

Intertitle:  ‘But ‘Petergate’ is much wider.’

There are more shoppers on Petergate, and a car passes by.  The York Minster can be seen in the background.

Intertitle:  ‘The River Ouse flowing through the town…’ ‘…affords healthy recreation in the summer months.’

The River Ouse is shown from Ouse bridge and facing towards Lendal Bridge and includes images of the Guildhall.  The films ends with crowds watching rowing races from the river bank in Museum Gardens near the end of Marygate.