York Minster - The Cathedral. The Cathedral & Metropolitcal Church of St. Peter in York is popularly known as 'York Minster' from its original foundation as a missionary church or monaterium. It is the seat of the Archbishop of York and, as such, is, not surprisingly, the most dramatic of churches in Northern England. It is simply vast - the largest medieval cathedral in Northern Europe - and displays some of the best examples of the medieval craftsman's work to be found anywhere. Particularly of note are the fine carvings in the chapter house (c.1275) and the fantastic array of medieval glass dating back to the 12th century.
The present structure was built in several stages between the early 13th and late 15th centuries. The transepts are early English, the nave is decorated gothic and the tower, quire & lady chapel are Perpendicular. Remains of the previous Norman structure can be seen in the undercroft, but the Minster has been the site of Christian worship since King Edwin was baptised here in AD 627!
Beside the Queen's Path, near the Minster's South Transept, stands a quite recent addition to the York landscape which, interestingly, reminds us of its most ancient piece of history. Here the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great sits, immortalised in Bronze, on his Imperial throne.
Constantine was the son of the Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus, by St. Helen, supposedly his British mistress. Constantius stayed in York for long periods in the early 4th century, to oversee the strengthening of the city's defences (including the 'Multangular Tower') following a popular uprising in the province. He died in the city in AD 306 and the people of York were the first to hear his son declared Emperor by his loyal troops immediately afterward.
St. Michael le Belfry. St. Michael's, sandwiched between Petergate and Minster Yard, is called Le Belfry from its closeness to the bells in the south-west tower of York Minster. Built in the middle of the reformation (1535), it is the only old church in the city completely erected in one continous process.
There was a previous church on this site dating from at least the 13th century, perhaps from 1066. Its 14th century glass has been retained in the fine east window.
The church is usually open to the public, interesting features include Etty's 18th century altarpiece, a stone altar from the Minster and 17th century brasses. Pride of place, however, goes to a copy of the 1570 parish register showing the baptisimal entry for one Guy Fawkes, the man at the head of the infamous Gunpowder Plot.
You are viewing panorama No.71 (York Minster and St Michael le Belfry), one of 134 Virtual Reality 360 degree views of York.
Map of York showing the location of York Minster and St Michael le Belfry at Latitude 53.96126 / Longitude -1.08494.
We have visited York on a number of occasions to produce this tour, this page was created on Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:49:53 +0100, although the photography may have been obtained on an earlier date.
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