Oldest Cities in the United Kingdom

Can you name the cities in the United Kingdom which have held official city status for the longest period of time?
Source: Wikipedia
We give you the first letter as a hint
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: January 4, 2022
First submittedJanuary 24, 2013
Times taken15,336
Average score33.3%
Rating4.26
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City since ...
Letter
City
time immemorial
B
Bangor
time immemorial
C
Canterbury
time immemorial
E
Exeter
time immemorial
H
Hereford
time immemorial
L
Lichfield
time immemorial
L
London
time immemorial
W
Wells
time immemorial
W
Winchester
time immemorial
W
Worcester
City since ...
Letter
City
time immemorial
Y
York
995
D
Durham
1072
L
Lincoln
1075
C
Chichester
1090
B
Bath
1094
N
Norwich
1102
C
Coventry
1109
E
Ely
1189
C
Carlisle
+1
Level 40
Jun 16, 2013
Have Ely, Lichfield etc ever been cities? Also, you have changed the answer to London. It doesn't make sense its either city of for all... or for none.
+3
Level 45
Jun 12, 2014
A city is catorgorised as a place that has a cathedral, which Ely, Lichfield et al do ...
+5
Level 76
Oct 16, 2014
It used to be that way but there are now other reasons why city status has been granted.
+2
Level 77
Jan 28, 2022
A cathedral has never been an official criterion; they just need a royal charter from the monarch. But it was a good rule-of-thumb, as there were no cities without cathedrals until Birmingham in the late 19th century.
+1
Level 52
Jan 28, 2022
Bath hasn't got a cathedral - the Abbey is just a very grand parish church.
+2
Level 66
Apr 27, 2015
I am going to jump on the bandwagon, why is this UK, when all the cities are in England. What about Edinburgh? I lost a lot of time trying to put in cities from the other countries.
+21
Level 74
Oct 6, 2020
Bangor is in Wales. Edinburgh is not one of the UK's oldest cities. You simply lost a lot of time writing the wrong answers.
+3
Level 69
Jan 4, 2022
Why stop at the UK, where is St. Augustine, Florida. Established in 1545 by Spanish explorers and-
+1
Level 69
Jan 5, 2022
Because Scotland "became UK" only in the 18th century?
+6
Level 60
Jan 28, 2022
When Scotland joined the UK would be irrelevant as up until that point England was also not part of the UK either, given that it didn't exist.

The reason no Scottish cities feature is because there were no places in Scotland with city status before any of the listed places.

+3
Level 81
Aug 31, 2015
This is a very arbitrary choice. What about Chester, Edinburgh, St Albans, Bristol and so on?
+17
Level 74
Oct 6, 2020
No it isn't arbitrary at all. The question and answers are good. The question requires the oldest cities in the UK. Edinburgh (for example) gained city status in the 17th century (1633 according to one source).
+2
Level 61
Jan 7, 2022
I agree; nice to have a quiz that's well researched and specific rather than ' name all the Xs you can think of'...
+1
Level 68
Jan 28, 2022
Chester and Bristol weren't cities until the 16th century, Edinburgh wasn't until the 17th century, and St Albans wasn't until the 19th century.
+1
Level 34
Feb 1, 2022
While Bristol has been a major port settlement since the Roman times, it didn't get official city status until the 16th Century. I assume this is the case with the other examples too.
+1
Level 40
Jul 15, 2017
Forgot the one I live in... :(
+1
Level 43
May 19, 2021
Colchester/Camulodunum was the first city in the UK/Britannica?
+7
Level 80
Jan 4, 2022
"Archaeological excavations have shown that public buildings were abandoned, and is very doubtful whether Colchester survived as a settlement with any urban characteristics after the sixth century." Plus it's a town nowadays, not a city.
+1
Level 40
May 20, 2022
Only it is going to become one in a few weeks time.

Congratulations to Doncaster, Milton Keynes, Colchester, Wrexham, Dunfirmline, the other Bangor and the two that aren't in the UK (Douglas and Stanley).

Still no Guildford. Ha.

+12
Level 77
Jan 4, 2022
Excellent quiz. Some bizarre comments.
+1
Level 78
Jan 4, 2022
Got 14 . missed ...LONDON. Doh.
+2
Level 70
Jan 4, 2022
Blinking hard quiz that
+2
Level 76
Jan 4, 2022
Nice quiz. Some strange comments
+3
Level 69
Jan 5, 2022
I currently live in London and I used to live in Norwich. So far I visited Ely, Canterbury, Chichester, Winchester, Bath, Lincoln and York. Ely's cathedral is massive in comparison with the rest of the city, whilst Lincoln's not only is huge it sits on a hill in the middle of the old city! It really is a very imposing landmark! I heard Durham is a pretty place as well.
+1
Level 77
Jan 28, 2022
Yeah, Lincoln's cathedral is incredible. I think some historians believe it was the tallest building in the world for a couple of centuries?

And Durham is gorgeous. You should definitely visit if you get the chance.

+3
Level 83
Jan 6, 2022
Knowledge of Monty Python & the Holy Grail or the Premier League was virtually useless here. I'm beginning to think that maybe my youth was wasted.
+1
Level 77
Jan 8, 2022
Great quiz, but shouldn't Salisbury be on this list? It has been a city since time immemorial.
+2
Level 66
Jan 28, 2022
Salisbury became a city in the 13th Century when the cathedral was moved from its old site in Old Sarum. The cathedral itself was built in 1092, so even then it wouldn't have made the list by a few years.
+3
Level 52
Jan 28, 2022
Maybe the quiz has changed? It looks as if it would be on now. I also was expecting to see Salisbury there.
+1
Level 66
Feb 1, 2022
Ah no, sorry, my mistake. I must have misread 1189 as 1089 for the most recent date on the list. Though it is still true that Salisbury at its current site did not become a city until the 1200s.
+4
Level 65
Jan 28, 2022
Bruv you've forgot Milton Keynes innit
+4
Level 61
Jan 28, 2022
Wha 'bout Slough bruv?
+1
Level 34
Feb 1, 2022
My good fellow, it is quite preposterous that you have excluded the fine city of Luton from your examination.
+3
Level 27
Jan 28, 2022
It may be of interest that the phrase ‘time immemorial’ has a specific legal meaning. My legal dictionary says (and various other sources agree) that the statute of Westminster 1275 fixed it at 1189 (although I’ve struggled to find a reference to it in the text of the statute, which is readily available online). The phrase is still quite frequently used in the courts (at least twice in the last year), though usually with the more generic meaning of ‘old beyond memory’, as it is used (perfectly correctly) in this quiz.
+2
Level 29
Jan 28, 2022
I'm pretty sure you've missed quite a few here
+5
Level 63
Jan 28, 2022
I'm very sure you haven't bothered to provide any evidence for your assertion
+3
Level 58
Jan 28, 2022
Interesting quiz, which I did badly at! Some weird comments though.
+2
Level 66
Jan 28, 2022
Nice quiz, didn't do too well :(

And yes. Some truly bizarre comments...

+1
Level 32
Feb 1, 2022
25%. Not bad for someone who has guessed their way through this quiz?