yorkshire history


March 11th 1864: The Great Sheffield Flood

On this day in 1864, the Dale Dyke Dam in Sheffield broke, causing one of the largest floods in English history. 650 million gallons of water swept down Loxley Valley and through areas of Sheffield. The flood destroyed 800 homes and killed around 293 people, thus making it the largest man-made disaster to befall England, and one of the deadliest floods in history. Individual stories from the disaster are particularly tragic. For example, Joseph Dawson found the currents too strong and was unable to save both his wife and two day old baby boy - the Dawsons’ unnamed child became the first victim of the floods. The destruction afterwards led one observer to remark that Sheffield was “looking like a battlefield.” While this tragedy is often forgotten in English history, many Sheffielders take this day to remember what once happened to their city.

Bolton Castle
Yorkshire, England by Pixelda

Built between 1378 and 1399 CE, Bolton Castle was once the seat of power for the Barons Scrope. It was damaged extensively in 1536 as retribution for supporting the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion against Henry VIII. 

rudston monolith ▴ rudston, east riding of yorkshire, england

the gritsone structure, which is 7.6 metres (25 ft) high and 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) wide, is the tallest megalith in the united kingdom. the monument dates to the late neolithic or early bronze age period; the nearest source of gritstone is nearly ten miles away, meaning it may have been moved to its current location by glacier. the tip is capped in lead to ward off erosion.


The Ormside Bowl from Northumbria dated between 750 CE - 900 CE on display at the Yorkshire Museum

Many treasures plundered by the Vikings were kept, reused and converted. This bowl was decorated with religious scenes by monks from a Northumbrian abbey that was sacked by the Vikings. It was discovered in a Viking grave in St James Churchyard, Great Ormside in Cumbria where it had be converted into a drinking cup.

micklegate bar ▴ york, north yorkshire, england

the city wall (gatehouse/bar) was constructed in the 12th century and updated in the 14th century. it was once the traditional ceremonial gate for monarchs entering the city. its name comes from the old norse mykla gata, meaning ‘great street’.

Ee bah gum! It’s Yorkshire Day! Loads of people have been saying they know nowt about it (and many don’t care - to you I say “shut yeh gob and gu back ‘darn sarf’!”) so I did some google-ing;

It marks the Battle of Minden of 1759, where, on passing some German gardens full of roses, the soldiers plucked some out and wore them. The Yorkshire men wore - you guessed it - white roses.

The day was adopted as 'Yorkshire Day’ to mark the heroism of the Yorkshire men who fought the French in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. (It’s known to the other regiments involved as 'Minden Day’).

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 in protest against the government getting rid of the three councils in the three “ridings” of Yorkshire (West, North and East) in the local government re-organisation of 1974.

These were incorporated later into parts of North, South and West Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was brought back in 1996.


crimple valley oracle ▴ harrogate, north yorkshire, england

the “oracle,” a 10m long dry stone wall made from yorkshire limestone, is the work of sculptor johnny clasper, a member of the yorkshire dry stone walling guild. it was created for the great yorkshire show and showcases the traditional dry stone walls found throughout the region.


South Terrace, Harewood House by Theresa Elvin
Via Flickr:
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