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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Yomping to York.

We didn't really get away until near enough 1000 as we were just enjoying being lazy and being back on the boat. Once we did leave we just pottered upstream at canal speed.

Once we left the visitor moorings we were soon out in the river and looking back to see the mill island in the middle with the weir to the right and the visitor moorings and lock cut to the left. All looking down stream.

After passing an awful lot of plastic cruisers at York Marina we came up to the railway bridge. The bridge was built in 1871 and the left hand span was opening to allow the passage of vessels. At that time it was the main east coast track. However in 1983 the Selby Diversion was opened and the route was downgraded. It finally closed in 2000 and in 2002 it became a walk and cycle way and part of the Trans-Pennine Trail.

Local folk decided to raise money for a piece of artwaork for the bridge. People that used the bridge were consulted and several themes and ideas chosen. The one by Pete Rodgers was selected. As you can see it is a wire sculpture that is 3 mts tall and is called the 'Fisher of Dreams'. You can see the angler has his dog with him, who his cocking his leg and with his bike by the side. You maybe able to make out that on the end of the ,line is the 'Flying Scotsman' that used to travel over the bridge in its day.

Bishopthorpe Palace is the residence of the Archbishop of York, the 'second in command' of the Church of England. At the moment the Arch Bishop is John Sentamu. It was in 1226 Archbishop Grey bought the local Manor and from then the village became known as Bishopthorpe. The building was remodeled between 1763 and 1766. It has a gatehouse, brewery and stables and has a beautiful garden and an unrivaled view of the river. In 1830 a vessel from York to Hull would stop here to pick up passengers who would be transferred to a London bound ship at Hull.

 The main trunk road that skirts to the south of York, the A64, crosses the river just to the north and it was extremely busy as we sedately passed below them. 

This is the back of Fulford Hall. The claim to fame for Fulford is that a battle against a Norse Army took place here. The Northern English lords battled against King Harald II and his alley Tostig Goodwinson and lost in September 1066. Tostig was the banished brother of King Harold Goodwinson and it was only five days later that King Harold Goodwinson fought another battle against them at Satmfird Bridge and routed them, killing most of the Norsemen. We all know that after a forced march south to the south coast to repel the invading Normans he lost his life to an arrow and William took the throne.

We saw two 'icecream boats' moored up just before the Milennium Bridge and we later saw them doing a roaring trade up by Lendal Bridge.

The Milennium Bridge was the winner of a competition by Whitby Bird and Partners and was opened in 2001 and cost over £4 million. One of the many York  river cruisers is seen heading back towards the city centre.

The blue bridge to the right is over the second river in York, the Foss. With 2 days notice the local IWA will work the lock for you to explore the short length of it through the city. The River Foss was allowed to flood and it is why there are no city walls by the river as the marsh was thought of as sufficient defence.

As we approached Skeldergate Bridge. The York Cruisers are out in force now. Skeldergate bridge was built between 1878 and 1881 in the Gothic Revival style. Behind the lead boat is a small arch. There is a similar one on the east end but this one lifted to allow boats to sail through with their masts still raised. The tolls were officially abolished in 1914.

The site of the Bonding Warehouse on the west bank of the Ouse in York was once the site of the landings for cargoes as far back as the Medieval period when the Common Crane was sited there to land goods. This building was erected in 1875 and has a vaulted brick ceiling on the first floor supported by iron columns. It is now luxury apartments.

With the dark and gloomy skies contrasting with the local sun Lendal Bridge and the City Cruise boat look good. The tower is Lendal Tower that gave it's name to the bridge. On the west bank is the Barker Tower. Both are Medieval. The bridge replaced a ferry that became overwhelmed when the railway came to York around 1838. I bridge was started in 1860 but collapsed during construction and five were killed. A year later the currant structure was started and the Gothic Revival bridge was completed in 1863. It is now Grade II listed and the original tolls were lifted as early as 1894.

The detail of the bridge shows the white rose of York, the crossed keys of the Diocese of York and then lions of England. Between the lights is the monogramme  V and A for Victoria and Albert. The angels are just for piety I'm guessing.

When we arrived the moorings alongside the Museum gardens were under water but we found a spot at the bottom of St. Mary's Gate just right for us. The only other spot we could have gone to, Queen's Staithe was occupied by boats that had huge gaps between them so we were glad to have a spot to ourselves. We were ready for a trip out into the town after a spot of lunch.

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