Yorkshire’s symbol is the white rose; this is taken from the English Royal House of York. As the Shire of the City of York, which comes from the Viking ‘Jorvik’, the county of Yorkshire was declared.
1st August is Yorkshire Day, a day where residents celebrate the general culture of ‘God’s Own County’. Yorkshire’s Long Sword dance is a unique tradition, not found anywhere else in the country. As is its unofficial anthem, the classic song ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht’. Yorkshire has an exuberant folk music culture, with over forty folk clubs and thirty annual folk music festivals.
Through great development in the 19th century which saw flourishing labour with the culture rising and the Industrial Revolution continuing with notable industries in coal textile and steel, Yorkshire became overcrowded and living conditions declined causing two epidemics of cholera in 1832 and 1848. And this wasn’t Yorkshire’s first health problem; in 1349 a third of Yorkshire's community was killed by the Black Death.
Yorkshire is home to Moor House - Upper Teesdale which is an area in the former North Riding of Yorkshire and one of England's largest national nature reserves. Yorkshire has two National Parks which cater for an established tourist market, Scarborough, York, Harrogate and Leeds are developing in this sector.
Yorkshire’s largest port is Kingston upon Hill which has a large manufacturing set up. The most important road in Yorkshire, historically called the Great North Road, is known as the A1. It is the main route from London to Edinburgh and passes straight through the centre of the county.
Yorkshire has many castles, Skipton, York Pickering Bowes and Richmond Castle were built during the Norman-Breton period. And as a means of defence against the Scottish, the medieval castles, Scarborough, Helmsley and Middleham were built. Another source of historic beauty in the county is the many stately homes including Castle Howard and Allerton Castle, of the Grade I listed properties in Yorkshire the best known are Leeds Town Hall, Sheffield Town Hall Ormesby Hall, the Yorkshire Museum and Guildhall at York.
Yorkshire is the birthplace of Bronte sisters and so some of the county around Haworth is known as Bronte Country in their honour. Poets linked with the county include Ted Hughes, W. H. Auden, William Empson and Andrew Marvell. Two accredited sculptors emerged in the 20th century; contemporaries Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Some of their works are accessible at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for public viewing.
There are various art galleries in Yorkshire showing considerable collections, such as Ferens Art Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, Millennium Galleries and York Art Gallery. William Etty and David Hockney are amongst some of the better known printers from Yorkshire, with works of Hockney residing in Saltaire at the Salts Mill 1853 Gallery.
Yorkshire pudding is the best known of Yorkshire foods, and is eaten throughout England. Forming part of the Sunday roast it is usually served with vegetables and roast beef. The drink ginger beer originated from Yorkshire and has survived since the middle 18th century. The Pontefract cake also originates in Yorkshire, George Dunhill from Pontefract came up with the Liquorice sweet when he thought to mix the liquorice plant with sugar. The county played an important part in the confectionery industry, being home to chocolate factories owned by Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Thorntons.
Yorkshire is home to a number of breweries including John Smith's, Kelham Island Brewery, Black Sheep, Timothy Taylor, Cropton Brewery, Copper Dragon, Sam Smith's, Theakstons and Tetley's. Since the 12th century brewing has taken place on a great scale, for instance at the current relinquished Fountains Abbey which in its day produced 60 barrels of strong ale every ten days. Most current Yorkshire breweries date from the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century.
Yorkshire produced some seriously important composers including Gavin Bryars, Eric Fenby, Frederick Delius, George Dyson, William Baines, Haydn Wood, Arthur Wood, Kenneth Leighton, Armold Cooke, Edward Bairstow, and Wally Stott and John Barry from the areas of radio music, film and TV.
Three musicians from Hull were hired by David Bowie hired three musicians from Hull throughout the 1970s, they were Mick Woodmansey, Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder; together they recorded the album Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars that became notoriously known as one of the best and most significant albums of all time.
The three most prominent British television shows filmed in Yorkshire are the soap opera Emmerdale, the sitcom Last of the Summer Wine and the drama series Heartbeat. Last of the Summer Wine in fact is acknowledged for holding the record for the world's longest-running comedy series from 1973 to present day. A comedy film set in Sheffield named The Full Monty, won an Academy Award and was voted the second best British film of all-time by ANI.