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York is located at the confluence of two rivers, The Foss and The Ouse, the latter running for approximately thirteen miles (21km) from the Parish of Nether Poppleton in the north to Naburn in the south. In medieval times, The Ouse made York an important centre for the textile trade with Europe; in the Victorian days, the river was a highway for distributing coal.
We start our trip along the Ouse at Lendal Bridge, the current bridge being built of iron in 1861-63
with Gothic detailing; Lendal Tower, on the left, dates from around 1300 and was part of the city’s defences. Heading toward the Ouse Bridge, which until 1863 was the only way across the river, we pass the guildhall which was first built in the 15th century for the powerful merchant guilds that effectively controlled the government and businesses of York. Much of the present Guildhall is a replica of the medieval building due to considerable destruction by bombs in WW2; it incorporates sections of the original walls and its stained-glass windows depict the history of the city.
If we carry on under Ouse Bridge, we’ll eventually finish our journey near Skeldergate Bridge where the
Smaller River Foss joins The Ouse.