The Railway Age in York England UK George Hudson

The regeneration that took place in our fine city after the removal of the Royal Garrison in 1688, made the city of York into a place that was be dominated by the local aristocracy and gentry. not a bad thing for the city one would think ... or was it?

The base of York's economy at the time was in steady decline, as was most of the manufacturing base at the time. At this time York's role as the centre of culture in the north was becoming more secure stage by stage. Architecture took a turn for the better with grand new town houses erected in central areas. Civic building projects which took on projects like the Assembly Rooms and Assize Courts. The now renown Knavesmire racecourse was built around this time as were a number of local hospitals. Although not strictly tourist attractions these hospital building are splendid buildings in their own right. 1719 came and the inadequate coach services to and from London were improved. The time it took for this journey was reduced from four days to under 20 hours by the 1830's.

Information on


The Railway Age

The great man called George Hudson was apparently a very ruthless businessman. The nature of his moral character can be called into question for a number of reasons on historical record. After his death the legacy of the railways he left us with are really what he is remembered for and not the numerous financial improprieties that were uncovered.

in It was in 1839 that Hudson brought the railways to York and by the beginning of the 20th century the city was thriving once again. This time it was as a major railway centre. This industry was then employing over 5,500 people directly and there ended up being several thousand more employed in the industries which sprung up around it, mainly manufacturing. Before the carriage works in York closed they were one of the main employers in the city.

The railway strength is directly linked to its use by the expanding of Rowntree's Cocoa Works and Terry's Confectionery Works. The railway boosted the city's other major industry, which was chocolate and confectionery. Joseph Rowntree combined business with Quaker philanthropy; he created the village of New Earswick to house the workers of his factory. A quick bit of trivia for you here New Earswick even today has no pubs, this holds to the Quaker philosophy. Terry's now closed in York was also one of its main employers and Rowntree although still open is no longer under British ownership. It was in fact when these industries declined and moved out that suddenly the powers that be decided to do something about the one industry that it had left to fend for itself until then, that being tourism. Yes suddenly it was all the rage to come and see those things we locals took for granted, the history that was all around us.

George Hudson was at one time the Lord Mayor of York. His actions how ever they are viewed today at the time lead to York's renewed prosperity. A street in the centre of town is now named after the man. This street at one time had a public house which was named the railway king after our George.

Also in the Victorian times, was the construction of numerous new churches, banks, offices, schools and colleges. Until 1974, York was the county's administrative centre and only Canterbury has more influence within the church. In more recent years, although traditional manufacturing has declined, new industries have risen up on the City's growing industrial and commercial sites with tourism being a major source of income for the city and its people, York attracts visitors from all over the world.

Welcome to the capital city of Yorkshire in Great Britain.