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York Minster

History

Blessed Sacrament windowWelcome to York Minster

York Minster is one of the great cathedrals of the world. We invite you to enjoy its vast spaces, filled with music and revealing the human imagination at work on glass, stone, and other fabrics.

Whatever your faith and culture, you are welcome here, to see for yourself the life of a centre of Christian belief.

York Minster is loved not only by people in the United Kingdom and Yorkshire, but by countless people across the globe. We hope you will be among them.

Vivienne Faull, Dean of York

 

Architecture

Founded in 627 York Minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York and the Mother Church of the Northern Province. The present cathedral was built between 1220 and 1472 and illustrates all three Gothic styles, the Transepts being Early English, the Nave Decorated and the East End Perpendicular.

Remains of earlier buildings which have occupied the site can still be seen in the Undercroft below the present building.

Attractions

What to see and do

York Minster acts as a beacon welcoming all visitors to the City of York. Built over 250 years, and renowned worldwide as an artistic and architectural masterpiece, it offers a wealth of things to see for people of all ages, and offers thrilling memories for all who visit.

The Minster is much more than a superb building. It is a site where history has been made over the centuries. The Emperor Constantine began his progress to greatness here, and the Roman buildings in which he lived still stand beneath the central tower. St Paulinus baptised the local Saxon king here, and here are buried many of the Archbishops of York, including St William of York.

York Minster provides a wealth of history for you to discover. The Minster itself is an architectural masterpiece and a treasure house of stained glass. Over half the medieval glass to have survived in England is to be found in the city, much of it in the Minster, where the windows illustrate glass from the Romanesque period through to the present day.

It is a living community of Christian worship where the sound of choral music has lifted the spirits of visitors and pilgrims for centuries.

Come and experience the beauty of the Quire and the Chapter House. Discover the Minster’s fascinating history that comes alive in the Undercroft, Treasury and Crypt. Gaze from the top of the Central Tower, across the pinnacles and gargoyles of the Minster, looking out onto the medieval streets of historic York and to the countryside beyond.

You can also visit our shop for a range of gifts that will remind you of your visit in years to come.

York Minster is the ‘heart of Yorkshire’, and that heart is carved in the stone of the west window.

Visit our interactive displays in the Undercroft which reveal the significance behind York Minster’s most treasured artefacts as never before and delve into the fascinating history and story behind the building. Revealing York Minster is a network of new interactive galleries, housed in the Undercroft and Treasury below the historic cathedral, which tells the colourful story of York Minster, from the lives of the Roman garrison to the work of the staff, clergy and volunteers in the 21st century.