The History of York - Hotel Indigo York

The History of York

The Romans knew it as Eboracum. The Saxons called it Eoforwick. The Vikings, who invaded it but then stayed as settlers, named it Jorvik. Today, we call it York and it’s one of the most historic and beautiful cities in the UK, renounced for its rich history and culture. The stunning York Minster’s medieval architecture, magnificent Georgian townhouses, Tudor streets and Victorian railway station all also help to form its eclectic and vibrant historical heritage. Our boutique hotel in York thought we’d share some of York’s fascinating history to help you get to know our home a little better.


The Romans


The city of York, as we now know it, began with the Romans in 71 AD, when 5,000 men marched from Lincoln to conquer York. The Roman’s not only created York, but they lived in and ruled it for the following three centuries and it quickly became a city of global significance. It became so important a palace was built in the city where the emperor Septimus Severus stayed. The most enduring legacy of the Romans is the City Walls, which you can still walk around today. Remains of York’s Roman Bathhouse can be explored on St Sampson’s Square and The Yorkshire Museum is home to incredible Roman treasures.


The Vikings

The Vikings invaded York on the 1st November 866 AD, led by Ivar The Boneless, and renamed the city Jorvik. Despite their reputation, the Vikings were peaceful and were great craftsmen. Jorvik prospered greatly under their rule. You can see Jorvik York come to life at the world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre near our York hotel and discover the sounds and smells of the Viking settlement. The Scandinavian name for road, ‘Gate’ is still celebrated throughout the city, including through our own street name, Walmgate.


The Medieval Period

The Medieval period was a key era in York’s history as it was when many of the city’s iconic landmarks were built which make up the skyline today. The City Walls were rebuilt and strengthened, reconstructing the old wood into stone. Clifford’s Tower was built to keep people out of York Castle and the Norman’s butcher street, now known as the Shambles after the Norman word ‘shamel’ meaning benches upon which meat is displayed, was rebuilt in the 1400s. It was during the Middle Ages the rich began investing in houses and building techniques evolved beyond thatched roof homes. Wander around York to discover the abundance of Tudor and Georgian buildings, which still make up the city.

Today York is a hybrid of the modern and the historical, carefully bridging ancient, encircling walls and medieval cobbled streets with a contemporary, commercial city that’s still growing and thriving. Discover the vibrant history lurking behind every nook and cranny when you stay at our York hotel.

Food & Drink in York

Sip on local gin, craft ales, familiar favourites, and creative cocktails at No.88 Walmgate. Pair with one of our delicious Rustic Pizzas.

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We proudly stand in the historic neighbourhood of Walmgate, just a short walk from all the city has to offer.

At one point Walmgate had 20 pubs on the street, today it is a cool mix of independent restaurants, bars and shops and continues to Fossgate – which boasts even more independent shops, delis, bars and restaurants. Walmgate Bar proudly stands at the end of the road. It is the only existing bar in York with a Barbican and forms part of the York City Walls walk.

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York Hotel's Chocolate Story

Discover the history of chocolate, how to make it and how to taste it like an expert at the York’s Chocolate Story.

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Hotel Indigo York's Latest Special Offers

Chocolate Package

Sweet dreams are made of this! Enjoy an indulgent stay in York and explore the city’s confectionary history. Snack on a complimentary box of chocolates, and wake up to a full English breakfast.

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