What sort of York emerged after the withdrawal of the Romans? The short answer is we don’t really know.
Several centuries go by without a written record mentioning the city, and the archaeological evidence is patchy too. It could have been all but abandoned; it could have continued as a town, albeit less heavily populated, under the leadership of native people.
Only later in the period do we encounter definite evidence of York re-established as a force to be reckoned with. This has much to do with the Church.
The first Minster was built to baptise King Edwin of Deira in the 7th century, and the Church flourished thanks to the vision of churchmen and the scholar Alcuin. York became renowned throughout Europe as a place of enlightenment.
The fabulous York Helmet suggests that in the latter half of the 8th century York was a centre of wealth and power.