York has been England’s second city for much of its almost 2000 years of history. This atlas, produced in the Historic Towns Trust’s large portfolio format, traces the origins and growth of the city from its foundation as a Roman legionary fortress c.AD71 right through to the 21st century, epitomising some of its greatest periods.
Eleven maps, period by period, bring together topographical, archaeological, historical and cartographic evidence to present a clear picture of what is known of the city through time. The remarkable 1852 Ordnance Survey plan of York – originally at the huge scale of five feet to one statute mile – is here beautifully re-drawn, enhanced to show both surviving and lost medieval and post-medieval buildings of importance, and presented at the scale of 1:2500. It is used as the base for all the period maps. The period maps are supplemented by others which show York in its regional, geological, and topographical settings, and there are special maps of York’s 19th century parishes and wards.
A substantial scholarly gazetteer explains every name on the maps, ancient or modern, and for each map there is an introductory essay by specialist authors: Patrick Ottaway (Roman York), Richard Hall and Ailsa Mainman (Anglian York; Anglo-Scandinavian York), David Palliser and Sarah Rees-Jones (York 1066-1272 and 1272-1536), and William Sheils (York 1536-1840 and York since 1840) .
Nine sheets of plates present numerous illustrations, from the earliest medieval images of York through reproductions of early maps, plans and views of the city and its structures to the latest aerial records.
The York Volume of the British Historic Towns Atlas has been prepared as a joint project by the Historic Towns Trust and the York Archaeological Trust and should prove a definitive cartographic resource for York for the foreseeable future.