York Minster

Written By PhilG

York is a great place for a day trip or short stay. With lots of museums, restaurants, and pubs to explore.  

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York Minster is the largest Gothic building in England With the largest single collection of medieval stained glass in England.

King Edward III married his wife Philippa in York Minster in 1327. They had eight sons and five daughters.

King John Magna Carta and the Prince of the North.

In the south transept of York Minster you can see the large and impressive tomb of Archbishop Walter De Grey. When King John set his seal to Magna Carta Walter De Grey was by his side. Three days later De Grey was made Arch Bishop of York. De Grey also played a big part in getting the building of the Minster started in 1220.

Walter De Grey was advisor to the Kings of England over the next forty years; he became rich and powerful and was referred to as The Prince of the North.

Girls in the quire.

Although building work started on the Minster in 1220 it was only in 1996 that girls were admitted to sing in the quire.

The English Civil War and the Stained Glass.

  • York Minster’s famous stained glass includes
  • The Hart of Yorkshire window
  • The Five sisters window (the largest lancet window in the world)
  • The Great East Window (witch has the largest aria of stained glass in one window in England)
  • The Monkey’s funeral window dating from 1320 (this window shows a monkey’s funeral but I don’t know why)

So why was the glass not damaged in the Siege of York, during the English
Civil War?

Lord Fairfax was a general in the parliamentary forces attacking York; he was also a Yorkshire man and ensured the safety of the Minster glass after the siege.

Are you very brave?

York Minster measures
158m – 518ft Long
76m – 249ft wide

But most importantly it is
60m – 197ft high.

And yes you can climb all the way to the top of the tower! But be ware it’s a long way up, its hard work and its scary, even for a York Explorer.

The Minster museum.

If you want to know more about the history of the Minster you can visit the undercroft and crypt museum. Here you can find a collection of Minster silver and other items belonging to people connected with the Minster. You can also 2 find out more about the Roman Principia or HQ that the Minster is built on top of.

Did you know the word Minster means place of learning?