York Minster

| Medieval * York |

Possibly one of my favourite views in the country, this is the Minster to end all Minsters. Despite work beginning in the 12th century, this magnificent magnesian limestone structure took over 250 years to complete. It’s been ransacked, burnt, rebuilt, and renovated more times than we’d like to remember, but it’s still one of the most impressive examples of a gothic cathedral in the world.


Up close, the gothic décor is even more remarkable, and often hilarious. Gargoyles live on almost every corner, and the Medieval architects had a thing for nudity, sexuality, and Punch-and-Judy style violence. One of the most beautiful parts of the cathedral is the famous Rose Window. A complete masterpiece made in 1515, its glass pieces illustrates the union of Lancaster and Yorkshire and the end of the War of the Roses.


There’s a lot of work that goes in to protecting buildings like the Minster. In the 18th century John Carr found that the Minster was in dire need of repair, and since then it has been under a near-constant state of protection. A permanent Stone Yard was set up where a team of masons work to keep the cathedral standing. They even use the Medieval techniques which have been passed down through the generations, carving stone by hand using chisels. The Masons still source their magnesian limestone locally from Tadcaster, which they have been doing since the 13th century.

 

Deangate, York YO1 7HH