The Grand ol’ Duke of York

“The Grand ol’ Duke of York, he had ten thousand men, he marched them up the hill and then he marched them down again.  and  when you’re up you’re up and when you’re down you’re down and when you’re only halfway up you’re neither up nor down”

The four of us took a day trip to nearby York today.  I know it was most likely not this castle hill that the “Grand Ol’ Duke” marched his men up and down but let me tell you that there is no halfway up on this hill.

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Even the stairs are a rough climb.  The castle keep is all that remains of a medieval norman castle.  Again it is so amazing to see and touch something this old and steeped in such history.  If walls could talk I would love to hear these stories.

York is a beautiful city with so much history.  I was unaware of the York’s deep Roman history, honestly I believe I missed much European history along my educational path.   I was fascinated to learn that Constantine was in York when he learned of his father’s death.  So he became the new Roman Emperor while living in what is now York, though he wasn’t crowned till his return to Rome six years later.

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Constantine reclines outside York Minster.

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The city is full of so much left from the Roman Empire,

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a Roman column, old roads, and most amazing of all an ancient Roman wall that surrounds the city.

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We visited York Minster, it was quite stunning and awe inspiring, there was a wedding taking place so we only were able to pop our heads in for a bit.

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I am learning much more about England and York after today.  I’m still, along with many others, wondering who exactly the “grand Ol’ Duke” was.   Some say perhaps Prince Frederick the Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827).  He ran quite a lot of men up and down hills during the his war time leadership.   No one really knows nor does it matter when singing such a fun kid’s song.

Tomorrow I will tell you more about this wonderful York and why I now understand Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and Thomas the Tank engine so much better now as well.

-Beth

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