Favorite Historical Cities in England

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  2. January 15, 2013 8:41 pm

Favorite Historical Cities in England

Ancient English Cities

London has two thousand years of history under its belt, spanning back to the time of the Romans, when it was known as Londinium. Alfred the Great proclaimed London the capital of England, a title once held by the cities of York and Wincester. The Tower of London was under construction by 1078, and by the 16th century the Tudor monarchs had to order that no further expansion of the city be allowed. Much of the evidence of London’s glorious past can still be enjoyed by its inhabitants and tourists to this day.

York has been invaded and ruled by many in its long history – Romans, Vikings, and the Normans. By the Medieval period the city was enjoying a period of relative peace and prosperity, and was bustling with craftsmen such as butchers, bakers,barber-surgeons and goldsmiths. Sadly, by the mid-1300s, the Black Death claimed the lives of nearly half of the inhabitants of the city of York. Today you can still visit the numerous smaller religious houses that King Henry VIII shut down during the Reformation in the 1500s, and also the imposing York Minster and York Abbey.

Canterbury was first known as an Iron Age Celtic settlement until it was invaded by the Romans. In the center of Roman Canterbury was the Forum, which also acted as a marketplace. A couple of hundred years after the Romans left, the Pope decided to convert the Saxons, and he decided that the first English archbishop would be seated in Canterbury. This revived the town, just in time for the Danes to repeatedly invade it. Canterbury surrendered without a fight after the Norman invasion. Despite Henry VIII closing its abbey, three of its priories and ending the pilgrimages in honor of St. Thomas Becket, Canterbury still managed to flourish. Many of these exquisite buildings can be seen by the visitor to Canterbury today.

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