Yorkshire in the Middle Ages

In broad terms the middle ages can be described as the period of about 1100 years following the departure of the Roman army in the early 5th century to the rather less easily defined commencement of the modern age in the 16th.

For the first 650 of those years the people faced successive waves of raiders and settlers — Scandinavians, Saxons and Danes - until the Normans in their ruthless way finally established supremacy. Thereafter, struggles with Scottish raiders and conflict between rival contenders for the throne of all England led to further occasional bloodshed.

In the wake of the Norman conquest, feudal control over land, people and economic activity was granted to monastic orders and lay magnates, and beneath the magnates to lesser lords. Their decisions and those of their successors had an important influence not only on military conflict but also on the management of landed estates and on economic development within the county into the modern era.

Our medieval legacy includes large features such as castles, religious buildings, town walls, streets and market places, but also manuscripts, coins and other small artefacts.   Here is a gallery of pictures contributed by Section members.

Our Medieval Legacy