It only took two and a half years of living in York to finally go inside York Minster. I did visit on a s chool trip back in around 2002, but I don’t remember much about the trip.
This history of York Minster
York Minster is a Gothic cathedral in York. It is one of the largest and most famous cathedrals in the country and has a rich history that spans more than 800 years.
The history of York Minster dates back to the 7th century when a small wooden church was built on the site of the current cathedral. This church was replaced by a larger stone church in the 8th century, which was then destroyed by Danish invaders in the 9th century.
In the 10th century, a new church was built on the site, which was later expanded and rebuilt over the following centuries. In the 13th century, work began on the current cathedral, which was designed to be a grand and impressive building that would reflect the power and wealth of the city of York.
The construction of York Minster took more than 250 years to complete and involved the work of many talented architects, builders, and craftsmen. The cathedral is famous for its impressive Gothic architecture, which includes a large nave, a central tower, and a series of ornate chapels and tombs.
Over the centuries, York Minster has played an important role in the religious and cultural life of the city of York. It has hosted many important events, including royal coronations, and has been the site of numerous important religious ceremonies.
Today, York Minster remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the north of England and is a symbol of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. It is also an active place of worship and continues to play an important role in the religious life of the local community.
Visiting York Minster
At York Minster, there are many things to see and do when you visit.
Here are some of the highlights:
- The Nave: The nave is the main central area of the cathedral, and it is a breathtaking sight to behold. The nave is the widest Gothic nave in Europe, and is over 230 feet long. It is home to many beautiful stained glass windows, including the famous Great West Window.
- The Chapter House: The Chapter House is a circular room that was built in the 13th century. It features beautiful Gothic architecture and is home to some of the most impressive medieval wall paintings in the country.
- The Crypt: The Crypt is located underneath the cathedral, and is one of the oldest parts of the building. It features a collection of ancient tombs and monuments, including the tomb of Saint William of York.
- The Towers: York Minster has three towers that are open to the public: the Central Tower, the North Tower, and the South Tower. Visitors can climb the towers for stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
- The Choir: The choir is located at the east end of the cathedral, and is home to the magnificent 15th-century choir screen. It is also home to the famous York Minster Choir, which performs at services throughout the year.
- The Library and Archives: The library and archives at York Minster are home to a collection of rare and valuable books, manuscripts, and other historical artefacts. Visitors can view some of these items by appointment.
- The Orb: The Orb is a new addition to York Minster, and is a glass sphere that contains some of the cathedral’s most precious artefacts. Visitors can view the Orb and learn more about the cathedral’s history and heritage.
These are just a few of the many things to see and do at York Minster. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or religion, there is something for everyone at this magnificent cathedral.
You can find the prices for visiting York Minster on their official website under the “Plan Your Visit” section. As of May 2023, the prices are:
- Adult: £12.50
- Senior (60+): £11.50
- Student (with valid ID): £10.50
- Child (ages 8-16): £6.50
- Family (2 adults + 3 children): £30.00
- Children under 8: Free
There are also options for guided tours and group visits, which have different prices and arrangements. It’s always a good idea to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on prices and visiting hours.
The admission times for York Minster vary depending on the season and day of the week. As of May 2023, the general admission times are:
Monday to Saturday:
- 9:00am to 5:00pm (last admission at 4:00pm)
- 12:45pm to 5:00pm (last admission at 4:00pm)
However, there may be some exceptions for special events or maintenance work, so it’s always a good idea to check the official website or call ahead to confirm the opening times. Additionally, there may be extended hours during peak tourist season or for special services, such as Christmas and Easter.
My York Minster Review
We had such a lovely time looking at this amazing building. It’s definitely something you could enjoy doing on your own as well as with a group. There is just so much to take in, you can get lost in another world in this stunning cathedral!
If you’re interested in finding out what’s on at York Minster at Christmas, read my Christmas in York post here.
York Minster Photos
Check out my guide to York here.