Visit-a-Church
Key Image Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter
Minster Yard
YO1 7HH York
United Kingdom
Denomination: Anglican
Congregation: York Minster (Diocese of York)
Geogr. Coordinates: 53.96225° N, 1.08207° W
Geo Location
Reference year: 1080
Architectural style: Gothic
Building type: Basilica
Description: Three-aisled Gothic basilica on a cruciform plan with a two-tower west façade and a central tower over the crossing, chapter house joined to the north transept
Name derivation: From St Peter, the apostle; the title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title, the word “Metropolitical” in the formal name refers to the Archbishop of York’s role as the Metropolitan bishop of the Province of York
Bells
  • Ring of 14 bells in the south-west tower, mostly cast in 1925 by J Taylor & Co.
  • Seven bells cast by J Taylor & Co. in the north-west tower, including the “Great Peter” bell (1927) weighing 10.8 tons
  • Carillon of 35 bells in the south-west tower (11 bells cast in 1933 and transferred to York Minster in 1989, another 24 bells cast in 2008, all by J Taylor & Co.)
Altar
  • Nave altar with modern altar cloths by the Minster Broderers (green cloth dedicated in 2015 after six years of work), “Millennium Cross” (Alex Brogden)
Organ
  • Great Organ case from 1832, current organ built in 1903 by J. W. Walker and Sons, refurbished 2018–21 by organ builders Harrison and Harrison; 5,403 pipes, 82 stops on four manuals and pedal
Windows
  • “Five Sisters’ Window” in the north transept (c1250)
  • “Heart of Yorkshire”, the stained glass west window containing the outline of a heart (Ivo de Raghton and Robert Ketelbarn, 1339)
  • Great East Window (John Thornton, 1405–8) with scenes from the Creation and the Apocalypse (biblical books of Genesis and Revelations)
Noteworthy
  • Astronomical clock (1955), a memorial to airmen killed in action during World War II
  • “Semaphore Saints”, twelve headless figures on the west wall showing the text “Christ is here” in semaphore signals (Terry Hammill, 2005)
History:
314:   Earliest reference to a bishop of York as participant of the Council of Arles
627:   King Edwin of Northumbria baptized in a small wooden church in York dedicated to St Peter
637:   Replacement of the wooden church by a stone building by King Oswald (renewed in 670 by St Wilfrid)
1069:   William the Conqueror’s forces destroy the Anglo-Saxon church
1080:   Construction of a stone cathedral starts at the site of a former Roman basilica
1100:   Construction of the Romanesque cathedral completed
1175:   West end of the cathedral remodelled
About 1225:   Construction of transepts starts
About 1288:   Construction of the Chapter House
1291:   Construction of nave starts (completed in the 1350s)
1405:   Central tower collapses, building on a new tower started, but was never completed
1408:   Glazing of the great east window
About 1420:   Quire (choir) completed after 60 years of construction
03/07/1472:   Re-consecration of the minster
01/02/1829:   Quire (choir) destroyed by arson
1972:   5-year effort to secure the foundations of the central tower completed
1984:   Fire caused by lightning damages south transept
2018:   Completion of 13 years of conservation work for the great east window
Important persons:
Patron:  Peter (1–64 (?), apostle and martyr)
Dimensions:
Nave Span [m]:  15
Sources
Bulmer, Jane: York Minster Souvenir Guide, The Chapter of York, York 2022
Harrison & Harrison: York Minster, Harrison & Harrison Ltd, Durham, https://www.harrisonorgans.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/York-Minster-2021.pdf, retrieved 05/11/2022
Wikipedia: York Minster, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_Minster, retrieved 05/11/2022
Wikipedia: John Taylor & Co, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Taylor_(and)_Co, retrieved 05/11/2022
York Minster: ‘Faith and Fracture’ – Glass Sculpture focused on ‘Beauty of Every Human’ on display in York Minster, https://yorkminster.org/latest/faith-and-fracture-glass-sculpture-focused-on-beauty-of-every-human-on-display-in-york-minster/, retrieved 05/11/2022
York Minster Society of Change Ringers: Bells, http://www.yorkminsterbells.org.uk/?cat=9, retrieved 05/11/2022
© 2023
TuK Bassler
CC-BY-SA 4.0