The City of York

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A History of the County of York: the City of York. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1961.

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THE area described in this volume is broadly the ancient liberty of the city. The liberty remained more or less stable from very early times until 1884 and included the walled city, some of the city parishes extending north and east, and the open tracts of land comprising Knavesmire and Bishop's Fields on the south and west. In 1884 and on four subsequent occasions (1893, 1934, 1937, 1957) the city was extended to include the townships of Clifton (part), Heworth (part), Holgate and Dringhouses, part of the parish of Fulford, most of the parish of Acomb, and Acomb Moor. (fn. 1) The history of these places is treated in the volume only in so far as it relates directly to the history of the city and particularly during the period when they were being developed to house the city's growing population in the 19th and 20th centuries; their earlier history belongs with the Ridings in which they lie. Nevertheless the boundary of the liberty has not been adhered to where city interests lie or have lain outside it. The common lands and strays, for example, lay for the greater part outside the city; Ouse and Foss Navigations control long stretches of waterway and are city institutions; and certain important aspects of the history of St. Mary's Abbey, the site of which was only brought within the city in 1884, cannot be divorced from the city's history.


  • 1. Some other small areas—Hob Moor, Knavesmire, and a small part of the parish of Osbaldwick—were also brought into the city by these extensions: see pp. 320–1.