The York report 9 ~ York Minster Interior

Finally got to the last post on York, and this time inside York Minster.

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The Nave

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alter
alter

 

 

memorial
memorial

York as a whole, and particularly the minster, have a long tradition of creating beautiful stained glass. Some of the stained glass in York Minster dates back to the 12th century. The Minster’s records show that much of the glass (white or coloured) came from Germany. Because of the extended time periods during which the glass was installed, different types of glazing and painting techniques which evolved over hundreds of years are visible in the different windows. Approximately two million individual pieces of glass make up the cathedral’s 128 stained glass windows. Much of the glass was removed before and pieced back together after the 1st and 2nd world wars,and the windows are constantly being cleaned and conserved to keep their beauty intact, which was happening to the magnificent East Window, so we didn’t get to see that a.

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The West Window constructed 1338

 

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The choir screen has a statue of every King of England

Choir screen
Choir screen
choir screen
choir screen

 

lectern
lectern
carvings
carvings
lost his head
lost his head

We went into the undercroft, the vaulted cellar below ground level. It has archaeological remains covering all of York’s history, from the Roman fort to the Norman foundations. There’s an exhibit of artifacts on display in the undercroft normally, including a luscious Norman-era 12th century relief of sinners being tortured by demons in Hell’s cauldron known as the Doomstone.

The Doorstone
The Doomstone
shrine
shrine
Norman Pillar
Norman Pillar

Lots of tombs and shrines in the walls of the Minster

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cherub

There are 2 interesting clocks in the Minster, a medieval mechanical clock where 2 armed figures strike the 1/4 hours

Medieval mechanical clock
Medieval mechanical clock

and an astronomical clock,  installed in the North Transept  in 1955. It was first conceived in 1944 and designed by R d’E Atkinson. The clock is a memorial to the airmen operating from bases in Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland who were killed in action during WW2. It’s quite a complicated clock to get your head around as Atkinson based the design on the appearance of the sun and stars from the viewpoint of a pilot flying over York, and if you are interested how it works HERE is the link. As it happens damage to the clock’s mechanism was sustained during the fire of 9 July 1984; after 10 years’ reparation work, vergers ceased winding it owing to inaccuracies of time-keeping. 😦

astronomical clock
astronomical clock

The Chapter House, where the day to day business of the Minster was run, was begun in about 1260 and is a superb example of the Gothic Decorated style which was then all the rage.

The entrance to the Chapter House is along a fairly low passage, which gives no hint of what is to come. You pass through a twin arched door…

to the chapter house
to the chapter house

…where a wonderfully carved Madonna and child stand, and enter into a circular space ringed with low stalls.

Madonna & child
Madonna & child

Then when you go inside, the stained glass windows are beautiful, and led your eyes up to this gorgeous ribbed vault ceiling.

chapter house ceiling
chapter house ceiling

Hard to believe it’s made out of wood, but it is. A masterpiece of medieval architecture. I tried a panorama with the iPhone, which didn’t work too well, you can see the roof lines are all jittery, but it gives you an idea..

jittery pano
jittery pano
around the chapter house
around the chapter house, stalls details.

 

Finally, whilst doing the tour underneath the Minster to see the Roman Fort ruins that still are visible (The Minster was built ovee part of the Fort ruins) we came across this wonderful Viking Horn.

One of the few surviving artefacts from the beginning of the eleventh century, the Horn of Ulf is a large elephant tusk which was carved in Salerno in Italy.  The figures on it are believed to have been carved by Islamic carvers.

It belonged to a Viking nobleman, or thane, called Ulf or Ulphus.  Ulf owned large estates around York and throughout Yorkshire.  The Horn acted as a land deed and was given to the Minster when the land transferred in to the ownership of the Dean and Chapter of York.

It was lost during the Civil War but came back to York Minster, having had the silver mounts added during its disappearance.

The Horn of Ulf
The Horn of Ulf

So that ends the York Reports, hope you’ve enjoyed the journey, next time, Mount Grace Priory 🙂

laters gaters

😉

 

 

websites I used for researching history during the reports:-

York Press ~Horn of Ulf

History of York

Britain Express

Wiki

Gallery

The York Report 8 ~gargoyles and carvings.

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I love gargoyles and York Minster has a fine collection so I took some photo’s of them. When I researched what gargoyles are all about on Wiki, I found that really they are just a form of plumbing!  “a gargoyle is a carved or formed grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building, thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential damage from a rainstorm. A trough is cut in the back of the gargoyle and rainwater typically exits through the open mouth. Gargoyles are usually an elongated fantastic animal because the length of the gargoyle determines how far water is thrown from the wall.” Also they were viewed in two ways by the church throughout history. The primary use was to convey the concept of evil through the form of the gargoyle, which was especially useful in sending a stark message to the common people, most of whom were illiterate. Gargoyles also are said to scare evil spirits away from the church, this reassured congregants that evil was kept outside of the church’s walls.

 

laters gaters

😉

 

The York Report 7~York Minster exterior

York Minster, the 2nd largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe. And what a beauty, I could spend many happy hours in this stunning place. But first a potted history 🙂

Starting out as a wooden building in 627 AD (1388 yrs ago!!) in the 630’s it was rebuilt in stone then fell into disrepair by 670. A chap called St.Wilfred took over and repaired and renewed it. Then in 741 it was burnt down, and consequently rebuilt with even more impressive stonework. The church and the entire area then passed through the hands of numerous invaders, and its history is obscure until the 10th century. The church was damaged in 1069 during William the Conqueror’s harrying of the north, but the first Norman archbishop,Thomas of Bayeux, arriving in 1070, organised repairs. The Danes destroyed the church in 1075, but it was again rebuilt from 1080 in the Norman style. Basically, up until 1230 it was up and down like a lady of the night’s undergarments, but the present building was begun in about 1230 and completed in 1472. There is constant restoration work going on, and at the time of our visit, the Great East Window is in the process of renovation at an estimated cost of £23 million, so we couldn’t see that unfortunately as it is quite spectacular by all accounts.

I took a lot of shots so this will be a 3 part post, and in this first one I’m concentrating on the exterior.

Firstly, there’s no way my little fuji could take in the whole building, so I tried to do a panorama which kind of worked, but isn’t all that great.

York Minster pano
York Minster pano

I tried pulling it about in PS but couldn’t quite get the bottom part right, so Phil’s head is a bit stretched. But I had a go and learned a bit about warping and the like so not a waste of time. This was an evening shot and the light was lovely on the sandstone.

Front door
Front door

This is the door you go through to get in and it’s the west end of the building.

North Transept & Chapter House
North Transept & Chapter House

This is the view of the minster from The Treasurers House which you can see in the previous post if you click on the link. The chapter house has the pointy roof, and that long set of windows on the left is The Five Sisters window.

North Transept
Bird house

while I was photographing the tower a chap asked me if I was trying to photograph the peregrine falcons, I didn’t know what he was on about at first, but apparently a breeding pair of the birds are nesting in the top window there. Didn’t see them though.

side view (north)
side view (south)
side view, (north)
side view, (north)
chapter house
chapter house
detail from the south side
detail from the south side

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The grounds of the Minster have a seating area done in the same kind of stone, and with decorative motifs in keeping with the carvings on the Minster.

in keeping
in keeping

and also there is a really lovely war memorial

remembrance
remembrance

I also took some hipstamatic shots on the iphone

front door hipsta style
front door hipsta style
Visitors entrance hipstamatic
side door hipstamatic
looking up
looking up

The thing I loved best about the building were the gargoyles, so many different ones, you can’t make out many here, but that’s for my next post.

laters gaters

😉