The culture of the people of Yorkshire is an accumulated product of various different civilisations who have directly controlled its history, including; the Celts (Brigantes and Parisii), Romans, Angles, Norse Vikings and Normans amongst others. The western part of the historicNorth Riding had an additional infusion of Breton culture due to the Honour of Richmond being occupied by Alain Le Roux, grandson ofGeoffrey I, Duke of Brittany. The people of Yorkshire are immensely proud of their county and local culture and it is sometimes suggested they identify more strongly with their county than they do with their country. Yorkshire people have their own distinctive dialect known asTyke, which some have argued is a fully fledged language in its own right. The county has also produced a unique set of Yorkshire colloquialisms, which are in use in the county. Among Yorkshire's unique traditions is the Long Sword dance, a traditional dance not found elsewhere in England. The most famous traditional song of Yorkshire is On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at ("On Ilkley Moor without a hat"), it is considered the unofficial anthem of the county.
Throughout Yorkshire many castles were built during the Norman-Breton period, particularly after the Harrying of the North. These included Bowes Castle, Pickering Castle, Richmond Castle,Skipton Castle, York Castle and others. Later medieval castles at Helmsley, Middleham andScarborough were built as a means of defence against the invading Scots. Middleham is notable because Richard III of England spent his childhood there. The remains of these castles, some being English Heritage sites, are popular tourist destinations. There are several stately homes in Yorkshire which carry the name "castle" in their title, even though they are more akin to a palace. The most notable examples are Allerton Castle and Castle Howard, both linked to the Howard family. Castle Howard and the Earl of Harewood's residence, Harewood House, are included amongst the Treasure Houses of England, a group of nine English stately homes.
There are numerous other Grade I listed buildings within the historic county including public buildings such as Leeds Town Hall, Sheffield Town Hall,Ormesby Hall, the Yorkshire Museum and Guildhall at York. Large estates with significant buildings were constructed at Brodsworth Hall, Temple Newsam and Wentworth Castle. In addition to this there are properties which are conserved and managed by the National Trust, such asNunnington Hall, the Rievaulx Terrace & Temples and Studley Royal Park. Religious architecture includes extant cathedrals as well as the ruins of monasteries and abbeys. Many of these prominent buildings suffered from the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII; these includes Bolton Abbey, Fountains Abbey, Gisborough Priory, Rievaulx Abbey, St Mary's Abbeyand Whitby Abbey among others. Notable religious buildings of historic origin still in use include York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, Beverley Minster,Bradford Cathedral and Ripon Cathedral.
Literature and art
When Yorkshire formed the southern part of the kingdom of Northumbria there were several notable poets, scholars and ecclesiastics, including Alcuin, Cædmon and Wilfrid. The most esteemed literary family from the county are the three Brontë sisters, with part of the county around Haworth being nicknamed Brontë Country in their honour. Their novels, written in the mid-19th century, caused a sensation when they were first published, yet were subsequently accepted into the canon of great English literature. Among the most celebrated novels written by the sisters are Anne Brontë's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.Wuthering Heights was almost a source used to depict life in Yorkshire, illustrating the type of people that reside there in its characters, and emphasising the use of the stormy Yorkshire moors. Nowadays, the parsonage which was their former home is now a museum in their honour. Bram Stoker authoredDracula while living in Whitby and it includes several elements of local folklore including the beaching of the Russian ship Dmitri, which became the basis of Demeter in the book.
The novelist tradition in Yorkshire continued into the 20th century, with authors such as J. B. Priestley,Alan Bennett and Barbara Taylor Bradford being prominent examples. Taylor Bradford is noted for A Woman of Substance which was one of the top-ten best selling novels in history. Another well known author was children's writer Arthur Ransome who penned the Swallows and Amazons series. James Herriot, the best selling author of over 60 million copies of books about his experiences of some 50 years as a veterinarian in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, the town which he refers to as Darrowby in his books (although born in Sunderland), has been admired for his easy reading style and interesting characters. Poets include Ted Hughes, W. H. Auden, William Empson and Andrew Marvell. Two well known sculptors emerged in the 20th century; contemporaries Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Some of their works are available for public viewing at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There are several art galleries in Yorkshire featuring extensive collections, such as Ferens Art Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Millennium Galleries and York Art Gallery. Some of the better known local painters are William Etty and David Hockney; many works by the latter are housed at Salts Mill 1853 Gallery in Saltaire.
Yorkshire has a long tradition in the field of sports, with participation in football, rugby league,cricket and horse racing being the most established sporting ventures. Yorkshire County Cricket Club represents the historic county in the domestic first class cricket County Championship; with a total of 30 championship titles, 12 more than any other county, Yorkshire is the most decorated county cricket club. Some of the most highly regarded figures in the game were born in the county amongst them Geoff Boycott, Len Hutton and Herbert Sutcliffe.England's oldest horse race, which began in 1519, is run each year at Kiplingcotes near Market Weighton. Continuing this tradition in the field of horse racing, there are currently nine established racecourses in the county. Britain's oldest organised fox hunt is the Bilsdale, originally founded in 1668. Yorkshire is officially recognised by FIFA as the birth-place of club football, as Sheffield FC founded in 1857 are certified as the oldest association football club in the world. The world's first inter-club match and local derby was competed in the county, at the world's oldest ground Sandygate Road. The Laws of the Game which are now used worldwide were drafted by Ebenezer Cobb Morley from Hull.
The most successful football clubs founded in Yorkshire are Barnsley, Bradford City, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, four of which have been the league champions with Huddersfield being the first club to win three consecutive league titles. Middlesbrough F.C. recently came to prominence by reaching the 2006 UEFA Cup Final and winning the 2004 League Cup. Noted players from Yorkshire who have had an impact on the game include World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks and two time European Footballer of the Year award winner Kevin Keegan, as well as prominent managers Herbert Chapman, Brian Clough, Bill Nicholson, George Raynor and Don Revie. The Rugby Football League and with it the sport of rugby league was founded in 1895 at the George Hotel, Huddersfield, after a North-South schism within the Rugby Football Union. The top league is the engage Super League and the most decorated Yorkshire clubs are Huddersfield Giants, Hull FC, Bradford Bulls, Hull KR, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Castleford Tigers and Leeds Rhinos. In total six Yorkshiremen have been inducted into theRugby League Hall of Fame amongst them is Roger Millward, Jonty Parkin and Harold Wagstaff. In the area of boxing "Prince" Naseem Hamed from Sheffield achieved title success and widespread fame, in what the BBC describes as "one of British boxing's most illustrious careers". Yorkshire also has an array of racecourses, in North Yorkshire, there is Catterick, Redcar, Ripon, Thirsk and York in the East Riding of Yorkshire there is Beverley, in West Yorkshire there is Pontefract and Wetherby, while in South Yorkshire there is Doncaster.