York Minster Cathedral
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York Minster Cathedral

York Minster is an exquisite and recognize Gothic cathedral in York, northern England. It is the seat of an archbishop second in rank only to that of Canterbury and features a mass collection of medieval stained glass. York Minster is one of the great cathedrals in the world, renowned as an artistic and architectural masterpiece.


York is a great cathedral city in the north of England that features some of the best preserved historical buildings and structures in Europe. York's numerous sights of religious interest include the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, a handful of medieval churches, abbey ruins, a historical Jewish site, a Catholic shrine, and a museum with ancient religious artifacts.

York Minster is an exquisite and recognize Gothic cathedral in York, northern England. It is the seat of an archbishop second in rank only to that of Canterbury cathedral and features a mass collection of medieval stained glass. York Minster is one of the great cathedrals in the world, renowned as an artistic and architectural masterpiece.

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Christianity is visible in York since 300 AD. The first church on the site was a wooden structure built hurriedly in about 627 to provide a place to baptize Edwin, King of Northumbria. A more significant building began in about 630 and a church dedicated to St. Peter was completed in about 637.

Image Source - South Transept

The church fell into a miserable condition by about 670, but when Saint Wilfred ascended to the rule of York but it was Egbert (732-766) who put in place efforts to repair and renovate the structure. A school and library were added and established by about the 8th century, the envy of Europe.

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Fire broke out and destroyed York Minster in about 741. It was rebuilt as a more impressive structure, containing 30 altars. The church and the entire area suffered much through the hands of numerous plunderers, and its history is isolated until the 10th century. There was a series of Benedictine archbishops, including Saint Oswald, Wulfstan, and Ealdred, who traveled to Westminster to crown William in 1066. Ealdred died in 1069 and was buried in the church.

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The church was again damaged in 1069, but the first Norman archbishop, arriving in about 1070, supervised immediate renovations. The Danes destroyed the church in about 1075, but it was again rebuilt from 1080 and onwards. Built in the Norman style, it was 365 feet long and rendered in white and red lines. The new structure was damaged again by fire in about 1137 but was soon repaired. The choir and crypt were renovated in 1154, and a new chapel was built, all in the Norman style.

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The Gothic style of cathedrals had arrived in the mid-12th century. Walter de Gray was made archbishop in 1215 and ordered the building of a Gothic structure to compare to Canterbury; constructions began in about 1220. The north and south transepts were the first new structures; finished in the 1250s, both were built in the Early English Gothic style but had markedly dissimilar walls. A significant central tower was finished, with a wooden spire. Building continued into the 15th century; the cathedral was declared complete in about 1472.

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The Reformation led to the first Protestant archbishop, most of the cathedral's treasures were plundered, and much of the church lands were loss. Under Queen Elizabeth I there was a conjunctive effort to remove all traces of Catholicism from the cathedral, leading to much destruction of tombs, windows, and altars. During the English Civil War York was besieged and fell to the forces of Cromwell in about 1644, but Thomas Fairfax kept any further destruction to the cathedral.

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After the latent hostility of religious conflicts, works began to restore the cathedral. From 1730 to 1736 the whole floor of the Minster was put across in patterned marble, and from 1802 a major restoration took placed. However, in about 1829 an arson attack inflicted heavy damage on the east arm, and a fire in 1840 left the nave, south west tower, and south aisle roofless and blackened shells. The cathedral declined deeply into debt, and in the 1850s services were forcibly suspended. About 1858, Augustus Duncome worked successfully to revive the cathedral.

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The 20th century saw a great deal of preservation work, especially after a 1967 survey revealed the building was close to collapse. Donations was raised and spent by 1972 to reinforce and strengthen the building foundations and roof. Unfortunately, a fire again in 1984 destroyed the roof in the south transept; restoration work was completed in 1988.

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York Minster is loved not only by people in the United Kingdom and Yorkshire, but by countless people across the globe.






Image Source – York Minster Photo Gallery

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Comments (13)

This cathedral is beautiful. Thanks for the read.

Great work, Ron. I see you are working your way north. I know York Minster well.

York Minster is a lovely place. Good write, thank you.

Beautiful article. I feel like I have been there after reading this.

Super article, think of all that's happened since the cathedral was new!

I really would like to have a vacation to visit all these terrific old cathedrals and buildings.

Awesome beauty. I'm not sure, but I "think" I've been in this one. I visited so many cathedrals while living in England for 4 years and while traveling around a bit to other places as well, that I honestly can't remember. They were all beautifully breathtaking, and many of them simular in their beauty. Thanks for sharing this interesting piece of history and the great pictures. Voting it up!

Another excellent post Ron. You are touring the UK more than I stay at one place here in the UK.

Thanks everyone for the read, votes and comments, appreciated.

Your article depicts the valuable points of your subject so well. Voted up.

Thanks Roberta.

many of our churches and cathedrals here in montreal is built in this style as well.

Thanks Carol.