The Biggest, Tallest and Longest Meet Yorkshire

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The Biggest, Tallest and Longest Meet Yorkshire

It’s only 200 miles north of the hustle and bustle of London, but Yorkshire will surprise you in more ways than one. Not only is this county one of the oldest establishments in the United Kingdom with settlements dating back to the first century AD but it’s also home to the biggest county in the U.K., covering just under 12,000 km2. An incredible part of the U.K. that possesses a rich and cultured history, still if you were to mention Yorkshire to any passer-by throughout the U.K., they would probably reference Yorkshire puddings and terriers on the first instance. However, upon closer inspection, this is an area of the U.K. that will astound you. It’s got the longest, tallest and biggest of everything all in one place. I mean, who knew that the tallest man in Britain originated from the Yorkshire area. Maybe it’s something to do with its water?

Britain’s Biggest Medieval Cathedral – York Minster

It stands 30 meters high and a whopping 68 meters wide, making it one of the largest gothic churches in Northern Europe, let alone the biggest in England. Rivalling the best gothic spaces on the planet, it is one of the world’s largest medieval gothic cathedrals. Only the Chartres, in the Loire region of France, is bigger.

Taking 250 years to build (yes, you read right!) and finally completed in 1472, it only rivals the expansive beauty of Westminster Abbey and St Pauls Cathedral over in London. But what makes this space so unique is the Great East Window, which covers more than 2,000 square feet, making it the most expansive medieval glass in the world. So beautiful is this attraction that more than two million people come to see it annually from all over the world.

Britain’s Longest City Walls – York City Walls

When in Rome as the saying goes. Well, that’s what you might have said back when the Romans were a crucial part of English life since the early part of the first century AD. Ever since they established their first fortress on the northern side of the River Ouse, the walls have been a permanent part of Yorkshire life.

Indeed, the Romans helped start a project that would end up becoming Britain’s most expansive city walls, now called the York City Walls, which measure three miles long and enclose an area of about 263 acres. However, these city walls have been through several iterations over the centuries with much of its appearance coming from developments between the 12th and 14th centuries. An incredible 2.5 million people visit these walls every year. 

Britain’s Luckiest Man – John Hesp

Many people might identify the local John Hesp as one of the most fortunate men in Yorkshire today. The 64-year old’s endeavours have not only caught the attention of the global poker community but also, Hollywood.

In 2017, at the World Series of Poker Main Event, amateur John Hesp went up against 7,221 entrants and astoundingly walked away with an incredible $2.6 million. What you might not know is that he was a high school dropout, a caravan salesman, semi-retired and was only a recreational poker player up until that point. But that hasn’t stopped him from playing it up with the best in the world. He has since earned a reputation for his colourful, flashy clothes and his table talk. So impressive was his win that there is now talk of his life being made into a film, with producers from Las Vegas approaching him about his story. 

Britain’s Tallest Man – William Bradley

It’s like something out of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, but the tallest man to ever originate from the U.K. is one William Bradley, who lived between 1787 and 1820. A Yorkshireman through and through, he was one of 13 children, and by the age of 20, he topped an incredible 7 feet and 9 inches (2.36 meters), still not surpassed. With his extraordinary height, his presence was requested at fairs all over England where they called him the Yorkshire Giant, and he charged people a shilling at a time to shake his hand. Compared to the tallest man that ever lived, Robert Wadlow, who was 8 feet 11.1 inches (2.72 meters), was up there with the rarest of them.

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