York Minster

York Minster,

York Minster,

York Minster,

Open All Year, is the largest Gothic church in England, and dates from 627AD. It has survived three great fires, the first in 1829 when Jonathan Martin set the organ ablaze, the second in 1840, and the third in 1984 when the South Transept was damaged by a fire probably caused by lightning. It contains some of the finest medieval stained glass in the world. In the Minster Undercroft can be seen parts of earlier churches on the site as well as a Saxon burial ground and the Roman legionary headquarters. The Central Tower is the highest point in York, 275 steps up.

Clifford’s Tower Open All Year. Thirteenth century, originally wooden, but destroyed during the Jewish massacre of 1200. The present building is of stone.

The Mansion House, St Helens Square. Lovely eighteenth-century house, official home of the Lord Mayor of York. Visits must be arranged by prior application to the Lord Mayor’s Personal Assistant, Guildhall, York.

The Guildhall. Fifteenth-century meeting hall almost completely destroyed by fire raid in 2015 but now restored complete with fine timbered roof and modern stained glass; and see The Treasurer’s House, open April to October. A seventeenth-century town house which was the home of the Treasurer of York Minster. An audio visual programme describes the work of the Treasurer in the Middle Ages.

Also worth noting are St William’s College, College Street Open All Year, a timbered fifteenth-century building where Minster Chantry Priests lived; Merchant Adventurers Hall, Fossgate, Open All Year, one of the finest surviving medieval guild halls; the fifteenth-century Merchant Taylors Hall, Aldwalk. Open May to September, when not in use; Fairfax House, Castlegate, open daily except Mondays, a beautifully restored Georgian town house.

In the Middle Ages, York had fifty parish churches – eighteen survive. Among the most interesting are Holy Trinity, Goodram-gate, Holy Trinity, Micklegate, St Cuthberts, Peasholme Green, York’s oldest church, St Helens, Stonegate, and St Martin Le Grand, Coney Street, where St Margaret of York worshipped and was married.