LivingTravelPlan a visit to York Minster

Plan a visit to York Minster

At least two million people a year visit York Minster in the medieval city of York. The 800-year-old cathedral that took 250 years to build is just the tip of the iceberg. It occupies a site that has been connected to history and faith for almost 2,000 years. Its Great East Window, as big as a tennis court, is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.

There is a lot to see and, during the summer months and school vacation periods, a lot of people want to see it with you. So a little advance planning doesn’t hurt.

What’s new at York Minster?

Revealing York Minster at Undercroft Don’t miss the new exhibition. It is part of a £ 20 million 5-year renovation and conservation project, scheduled to be completed in 2016, parts of it are already open to visitors. The greatest state-of-the-art attraction at any UK cathedral, it recounts the history of the cathedral and its site with astonishing artifacts and interactive exhibits, including the 1,000-year-old Horn of Ulf, given to the Cathedral by a Viking lord.

Did you know

  • Some of York Minster’s most interesting ancient history was only discovered in the 1960s and ’70s during emergency excavations under the cathedral.
  • Constantine the Great, who chose Constantinople as the capital of the Roman Empire and made Christianity his official religion, was declared Emperor by his soldiers while in York.
  • Minster is an Anglo-Saxon word, originally used to describe monasteries with a teaching role. At present, it is used mainly as an honorary title for some great cathedrals.

Great East Window Cleaning and Maintenance

The work of restoring this immense stained glass window and stonework in the East End of the Minster will take much longer than the 5-year York Minster Revealed project. At least 311 glass panels, made up of thousands of Medival glass pieces, are being removed, repaired and reinstalled. It won’t be completed until 2018. But in 2016, visitors will finally be able to see it without the protective scaffolding that has covered it for years.

The restored panels will be visible when they are returned to their positions in the window. Other sections that are still being restored will be protected with clear glass. Working on these windows is such a big project that new technology is being used to prolong their lives. York Minster will be the first building in the UK to use UV resistant glass as exterior protection for stained glass.

If you want a challenge, see how many of the stained glass panels you can understand. The medieval craftsmen who created it aimed to tell the entire story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, in a single multi-pane window.

Take a guided tour

  • Visits to the monastery church : the volunteers take guided tours, six times a day, at 10, 11, 12, 1, 1 and 3 pm, every day except Sundays. Tours last about an hour and are a great way to discover some of Minster’s hidden treasures and incredible history. Tours are included in the ticket price. If you are coming with a group of 10 or more, or need help with a foreign language, please inform the staff 28 days in advance by sending a group visit request to [email protected]
  • Tower Trips – Climbing York Minster Central Tower is a very special experience if you are fit and fearless. It’s the highest point in York and before you reach the 230-foot-tall summit and head out into the open, you get a chance to see some of Minster’s medieval pinnacles and gargoyles up close.
  • There are 275 steps to the top. Some are narrow and uneven and others go through narrow corridors.
  • The climb to the Tower is not recommended for people with heart conditions, vertigo, claustrophobia, high blood pressure, angina, respiratory problems (asthma, hay fever and bronchitis), reduced mobility or who are pregnant.
  • The health and safety regulations are available to read when you buy your ticket and you should read them before boarding the climb.
  • Children under the age of 8 cannot climb the tower.
  • School groups of ten or more must be accompanied by three adults, or two adults if there are fewer than ten.
  • Tours of the tower take 45 minutes and are limited to 50 people at a time. They leave every 45 minutes or so throughout the day and there is an additional charge for the tower. Ask the ticket office about the tower’s travel times when you arrive. But before planning to scale, consider these factors:

How to find York Minster

Almost all roads in York lead to the Cathedral. Head to the center of the small walled city and you can’t miss it. If you can’t see it, just climb the city walls at one of the many access points around York for a bird’s eye view.

Goodramgate, which leads to Deangate and High Petergate, all lead to Minster Yard (in York, the streets are called “gate” and gates through the city wall are called “bar”).

When to visit

Like a functioning cathedral, York Minster may be closed from time to time for all normal church business: weddings, christenings, funerals, as well as special events and concerts. In general, the Minster is open:

  • For services and prayer , every day from 7 am to 6:30 pm
  • For sightseeing, Monday through Saturday from 9 am to last entry at 5:30 pm, Sunday from 12:45 pm Parts of the cathedral may be closed for the preparation of events or special events during general opening hours.
  • For Undercroft exhibitions, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 1 pm
  • For trips to the Tower , check the day of your visit. Because tours to the Tower have an outdoor element, their timing is tied to the weather.

Why is there an admission charge?

Sometimes people are reluctant to have to pay for a ticket to visit a place of worship, so it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  1. There is no entrance fee to enter the Cathedral to attend a service, pray, or light candles.
  2. Not counting the restoration and conservation projects, it actually costs £ 20,000 a day to cover heating, lighting, cleaning and other personnel to keep the Cathedral open to the public. Most of this has to come from admission charges.
  3. The people of York are admitted free.
  4. Tickets are valid for unlimited visits for a full year from the date of purchase.

Other essentials for visitors

  • Admission: As of 2015, tickets to the Minster, Chapter House and Undercroft are £ 10 for adults and £ 9 for seniors and students. Up to four children accompanied by an adult are free. Tickets for the Minster and Tower Tour are £ 15 for adults, £ 14 for seniors and students and £ 5 for children aged 8-16. Children under the age of 8 are not allowed to climb the tower.
  • Photography and video recording for personal use is allowed everywhere except Undercroft.
  • Visit their official website for much more information and a variety of contact information.

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