York

Eboracum Quick Facts

30 York Constantine statue copy

Modern Statue of Emperor Constantine beside the York Minster

Where

York, Yorkshire – Map

When

  • In AD 71 the Roman army built a wooden legionary fortress on the banks of the River Ouse.
  • At that time the Governor Cerialis moved the 9th Legion Hispana from Lincoln to York. The last record of this legion was an inscription on one of York’s gates from AD 108.
  • The fortress was built in stone in AD 107/108 and encompassed 20 ha (50 acres).
  • In AD 122 the 6th Legion Victrix replaced the 9th Legion.
  • The Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died in York in AD 211. The civilian settlement at York had been made a municipia by this time.
  • Later in the 3rd century, around AD 237, the town received colonia status.
  • York was the capital of Britannia Inferior in the 3rd century and the capital of Britannia Secunda in the 4th century.
  • The Emperor Constantius died in York 25 July AD 306.
  • Constantine the Great was made emperor in York in AD 306, following his father Constantius’ death.

What Remains

32 York Roman multangular tower copy

Multangular Tower in Yorkshire Museum Gardens

Roman Walls, Gates and Towers

  • A lot of the Roman era walls remain but are mostly hidden beneath the grassed-over medieval ramparts.
  • The best place to see remains of the walls are at Bootham Bar Gate where they are at their original 5 metre height.
  • The remains of the eastern corner tower and part of an interval tower can be seen from the wall walk along the eastern side of York.
  • The Multangular Tower is situated in the gardens of the Yorkshire Museum. This was the northwest corner of the Roman fortress.
04 York Bootham bar Roman gate copy

Roman Gate at Bootham Bar

Roman Column

  • Located beside the York Minster is a column from the great hall of the fortress headquarters of the 6th Legion. It was found in 1969 and erected in 1971.

130 York Minster Roman York sign copy

Under the Minster

The York Minster was built on top of the principia, or headquarters, of the Roman Legionary Fortress. The headquarters had offices and stores around three sides of a courtyard and the fourth side had a large basilica where officers gathered the soldiers for orders and announcements.

Remains include:

  • Drains.
  • Column base.
  • Tile with stamp of 9th Legion.
  • Tiles with hobnail, hand and dog paw imprints.
  • Painted Walls sections.
  • Coins.
131 York Minster Roman fort painted wall copy

Roman Wall Painting under the York Minster

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