In this new DVD release on York. Michael Portillo is on a mission to discover York’s rich history. He travels back in time to mingle with The Roman Sixth Legion, sheds light on Anglo Saxon York, visits a Viking street scene at Viking Jorvik.He observes the Norman influence and discovers what happened later at the siege of York in 1644, sheds some light on Queen Victoria’s royal visit in 1854.
In this 50-minute programme, Portillo defines why York is referred to as the Historic Capital of the North.
At the site of the Roman Multangular Tower in the Museum Gardens, he meets up with James Trewhitt, who tells him how the Romans transformed York into a fortress town and why burying their dead is immersed in myth. Moving to York’s Roman Baths he meets curator Graham Harris who describes the pioneering heating system. Arriving at Jorvik Museum Michael Portillo is transported back in time one thousand years to Viking York
A short walk and Michael unearths Yorkshire Museum’s great treasures, including the beautiful workmanship of the world famous ‘York Helmet’. At Clifford’s Tower he meets Ray Alexander and learns of one of York’s darkest episodes – The Anti-Semitic Riots of 1190 – in which hundreds of York Jews perished.
Michael visits the iconic York Minster, where he outlines why the magnificent windows are so unique and describes the 13th century Chapter House as “a medieval architectural masterpiece.”
He covers religious persecution.The King’s Manor,where King Henry VIII convened his council of the North. He walks along the city’s ancient defensive Walls and Bars and how its defence played a role in the Siege of York in the Civil War in 1644.
At the Castle Museum, Michael Portillo meets curator Ali Bodley and learns the fate of York’s most notorious criminal. He rambles along the The Shambles, Britain’s most photographed street, through to ‘Stonegate’, where he discovers a “snickleway” leading to a secret courtyard where a Norman treasure is found.
Finally, at the National Railway Museum, Michael gets to see Queen Victoria’s Royal Carriage and recalls an unfortunate incident during the Queen’s visit to York in 1854.