The Basilica

A representation of what it may have looked like in the Basilica

The Roman Fortress consisted of a basilica, courtyard and barracks.  The foundations of the Basilica, the ceremonial centre of the Fortress, are visible today in York Minster’s Undercroft museum.  It would have been here that the governor presided over court cases or addressed his officers on formal occasions.

In 306AD, Constantine was visiting the fortress at York when his father died.  The Sixth Legion immediately hailed Constantine the next Emperor of the West.  This is most likely to have happened in the basilica. 

The implications of this were huge for the Christian religion, as in 312AD Constantine issued the Edict of Milan which granted tolerance of the Christian Church within the Roman Empire.  Prior to this it was against the law to practice Christianity.  However, there is some evidence that there were Christians already in Eboracum, before Constantine’s declaration. 


  • York Minster
    Artefacts and remains from the fortress can be seen in York Minster's Undercroft Museum.