Yorkshire Facts – Interesting and Unusual

Historically, Yorkshire boundaries were bounded by the physical landscape of the East coast (Humberside). The River Tees in the North, and in the West, the Western slopes of the Pennines.


Yorkshire was split into three Ridings – East Riding, North Riding and West Riding; this area includes modern counties, such as Humberside, Durham, Cumbria, Cleveland and even parts of Lancashire.

Yorkshire Dales

  • One of the many dry stone walls dotted around the Yorkshire Dales. Stone walls are prolific in Yorkshire Dales, they date  back to Enclosure Acts of Parliament in 1201.
  • Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God’s Own County. in general recognition for having the largest number of great people and great things in Britain. Some even go so far as to say Yorkshire is – God’s Own Country. This is either a slip of the tongue or recognition of Yorkshire’s wider struggle for complete independence
  • Yorkshire Day is  held on 1 August every year to celebrate Yorkshire’s unique culture and dialect.
  • After the death of Richard II, there was a civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of Yorkshire over the next successor to the English crown. The wars of the Roses led to bitter fighting until Henry Tudor (Lancaster) beat Richard (York) at the Battle of Bosworth.
Cow and Calf Rocks, near Ilkley
  • The unofficial anthem of Yorkshire is the popular folk song is On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at (“On Ilkley Moor without a hat”).


Bolton Abbey – from Autumn photos of Yorkshire Continue reading Yorkshire Facts – Interesting and Unusual

Yorkshire City Facts

Seven major cities of Yorkshire



  • Bradford: Population: 528,155 (2014)
  • Nickname: ‘Wool City’
  • Motto: “Progress-Industry-Humanity”
  • City status: 1897
  • Sports: Bradford City, Bradford Bulls RLFT
  • Major attractions: National Media Museum, Curry Capital of Britain, UNESCO City of Film in 2009.
  • Facts about Bradford



  • Population: 766,399 (2014)
  • Nickname: “Loiner” or Leodensian  – Latin for person from Leeds
  • Motto: “Pro rege et lege” “For king and the law”
  • City status: 1893
  • GDP: £51 bn
  • Leeds railways station, 2nd busiest outside London
  • Sports: Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos (RLFC), Headingley – home of Yorkshire CC
  • Major attractions: Shopping centres – Trinity Leeds, Kirkgate Market, Briggate
  • Parks: Roundhay, Temple Newsam
  • Interesting fact about Leeds. Leeds attracts more annual visitors than traditional holiday destinations including Brighton and Torquay.
  • Facts about Leeds

Continue reading Yorkshire City Facts

Interesting Facts about Lancashire

Lancashire_rose.svgLancashire is a county in North West England.

  • The emblem of Lancashire is the Red Rose of the House of Lancaster.
  • Lancashire towns (e.g. Oldham, Manchester, Burnley) played a key role in the industrial revolution, though 80% of the county area is classed as rural.
  • In 1971, before the break up of Lancashire, Lancashire had a population of 5,129,416 – the highest outside London. Post ’74, boundary changes – without Manchester and Liverpool – the population is 1,171,600. (2011 census)
  • Lancashire did not exist in the 1086 Doomsday survey, it was one of the youngest counties to be created in the comparatively late year of 1182.
  • Lancashire Day is held on 27th November. In 1295, 27th Nov, Lancashire sent its first representatives to King Edward I’s ‘Model Parliament’.
  • In the 1974 boundary reforms, Lancashire lost some of its area to Cumbria, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. It was controversially given a small part of Yorkshire around Barnoldswick.
  • The Lancashire dialect (Lanky) has been officially recognised by authors of the English dialect. Common Lancashire dialect includes  using “tha” or “t'” (thou) and “thi” (thee) instead of “you”.
  • For example  This is mine an’ that’s thine!” “Hast ta geet a fiver tha con lend me?”
  • The Lancashire dialect is strongest in old colliery towns, such as Wigan, Leigh and Radcliffe.
  • Despite many fine points, Lancashire has often struggled to escape the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour  – Yorkshire.



  • The first motorway in Britain was built as the 8.5 mile Preston bypass (opened 1958); this would become the M6 which travels from London up to Carlisle and Scotland
Sankey Viaduct built by George Stephenson 1828-30 on Liverpool-Manchester railway.

The world’s first intercity railway was built by George Stephenson between Liverpool and Manchester. Opening in 1830, it was the first railway to rely on steam power, the first to have double track and the first to be properly signalled and timetabled. It heralded the age of the railways, and was a very profitable enterprise.

Photo: Bridgewater Canal, Paul

The Bridgewater canal was considered to be the first proper canal in Britain. It ran between Leigh and Manchester and later linked up with Liverpool. It included an aqueduct to cross the River Irwell. Continue reading Interesting Facts about Lancashire

Facts about Leeds – Interesting and Unusual

Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow.
  • Leeds Population –  751,500, (2011 census population of Leeds)
  • Leeds Metropolitan borough had a population of 1.7 million. (2011 census)
  • Nickname: “Loiner” or Leodensian  – Latin for person from Leeds
  • Motto: “Pro rege et lege” “For king and the law”
  • City status: 1893
  • GDP: £51 bn (2011 est)

History Leeds

  • Origin of Leeds was when the Kingdom of Elmet was covered by the forest of “Loidis”, the origin of the name Leeds.
  • In Middle ages, an important centre for making white broadcloth being traded at the Leeds White Cloth Hall.
  • During the industrial revolution, Leeds had many wool and flax factories. But, also remained an important centre for agriculture.
  • The Leeds Corn Exchange was built in 1864, it has since been converted into an indoor market.
  • In post-war Britain, many traditional manufacturing industries declined. To a large extent, Leeds reinvented itself as a service sector town, with banking, insurance and finance main business.

Continue reading Facts about Leeds – Interesting and Unusual

Facts About Sheffield

Sheffield ‘the city of steel’ has undergone profound change since its iconic steel industry closed down in the 70s and 80s (as well as coal mine closures).

Sheffield Town Centre

Sheffield City Centre...

Sheffield Town Centre

  • The name Sheffield is derived from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city.
  • Historically Sheffield is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and is now part of South Yorkshire.
  • The population of the City of Sheffield is 555,500 (2010 est.) and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities.
  • In the Nineteenth Century, Sheffield gained reputation for being premier producer of steel. It made key innovations in the development of stainless steel. This was used in a variety of tools and cutlery and became very popular. This growth of the steel industry made Sheffield a key player in the industrial revolution.
  • After much regeneration, the Sheffield economy is said to be worth £9.2 billion in 2007 (2007 GVA)
  • Sheffield has two universities – Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University.


Sheffield Cooling Towers. The two towers were destroyed in a controlled explosion in 2008. (BBC link) There were part of the former  Blackburn Meadows power station and they were situation close to the viaduct on the M1.

Interesting Facts About Sheffield

  1. Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe. 2.5 million trees.
  2. As early as the fourteenth century, Sheffield was known as a place for the production of knives. It was even mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
  3. In 1991, Sheffield hosted the World Student Games at the new Don Valley Stadium and Sheffield Arena
  4. In the 1980s, it was often called ‘The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire’ because of its strong left wing politics.
  5. The Sheffield District of Hallam was said to the wealthiest part of the UK, outside London, in a 2004 report by Barclays bank.
  6. Sheffield is known as a ‘green city’ It provides much energy from incinerating waste.
  7. Sheffield boasts the world’s oldest football club – Sheffield F.C. It was formed in 1857, mainly by a group of cricketers.  Sheffield F.C. won the F.A. Amateur cup in 1904.
  8. Sheffield Wednesday  is one of the oldest professional football clubs in the world, and the fourth oldest in the English leagues.
  9. Sheffield Crucible Theatre stages the annual World Snooker Tournament
  10. The Sheffield Ski Village is Europe’s largest outdoor artificial ski resort
  11. Sheffield is sometimes informally known as the largest village in England because of isolated location amongst seven hills, though city status was granted in 1893.
  12. Sheffield hosted the world’s first football tournament (played under Sheffield Rules) – the Youdan Cup in Feb-March 1867, featuring 12 teams. The competition was won by local side Hallam at Bramall Lane. It preceded the FA cup by four years.
  13. The Sheffield Rules was a code of football used between 1857 and 1877. They had a big influence on Football association rules, which later finally codified the game. Sheffield Rules introduced the concept of corners, free kicks, heading the ball, and goal keepers.

Continue reading Facts About Sheffield

Wakefield Facts – Interesting & Unusual

  • Wakefield is the principal City of the West Riding and County Hall was the administrative centre for West Riding County Council from 1898.
  • The name “Wakefield” may derive from “Waca’s field” (but then it would be near Liverpool surely) meaning open land belonging to someone named “Waca”. More likely it is derived from witch or wake a festival in a field.

Wakefield's Trinity Shopping

The Arts and Wakefield

  • ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, every sky has its beauty.’ A quotation from Wakefield’s Victorian novelist George Gissing. His former home is open on a Saturday as the Gissing Centre in Thompsons Yard. The centre houses family memorabilia, exhibition material and a large collection of books by and about George Gissing.
  • For an unusual museum visit the Museum of Mental Health at Stephen Beaumont museum Ouchthorpe Lane (what an address for Fieldhead hospital).
  • Drury Lane London eat your heart out! Drury Lane Wakefield is the home of our own Theatre Royal, The Art House and the Artwalk. John Godber and company are based at the theatre.
  • ‘The Hepworth’ sculpture gallery is already speaking for itself as a new art space designed by architects David Chipperfield (like a circus tent then?). Thursday evenings looks like a favourite with late opening, dining and shopping until 9.00pm.

Wakefield drinking

  • Coal was dug from Wakefield from the 15th Century. By 1869, there were 44 different coal pits.
  • In the post-war period the National Coal Board was the biggest employer.
  • The two biggest coal mines – Manor Colliery on Cross Lane and Park Hill colliery at Eastmoor were closed in 1982, one of the first major closures of the 1980s
  • In 1906, Scottish/American businessman Andrew Carniege gave a grant of £8,000 for the Wakefield Library on Drury Lane.

History of Wakefield

  • The area around Wakefield was the home of the Brigantes until it was occupied by the Romans around 43 AD.
    During the Wars of the Roses, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York was killed in the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460.
  • During the Civil War, Wakefield was a Royalist stronghold until Sir Thomas Fairfax captured the town for the Parliamentarians in 1643.
  • An Act of Parliament was passed in 1699 creating the Aire-Calder Navigation which provided the town with access to the North Sea and helped Wakefield become a prosperous market town.

Injured Observation

The medieval Chantry bridge and Chantry Chapel over the River Calder in Wakefield.

Photo: J3MRs

Odd Unusual Facts about Wakefield

  • Two children’s nursery rhymes already have local ‘connections; “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” which may have been sung by women inmates at Wakefield prison and “The Grand Old Duke of York” which may allude to the Battle of Wakefield in 1460, referring to Richard Plantagenet, the 3rd Duke of York.’ From wikipedia
  • In the Middle ages Wakefield was known as the “Merrie City”
  • Wakefield Trinity renamed themselves the Wildcats for Rugby League premiership.

Wakefield is known as the capital of the Rhubarb Triangle.

The Hepworth Wakefield

Photo Credits
Injured Observation by neonbubble CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 at Wakefield Trinity match
The Hepworth Wakefield by diamond geezer CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ‘Wakefield’s new landmark sculpture gallery rises up at the foot of a weir on the river Calder’
Northgate Wakefield & Cathedral Silhouette by rofanator CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Northgate Wakefield & Cathedral Silhouette