York Minster, built, demolished, built, covered in scaffolding… restored :) (hopefully!)
York minster is one of York’s larger monuments, and this one is mind blowing! It’s currently undergoing a 5year project with a £10million Heritage Lottery Fund to expand the skills of stone masonry, and stained glass conservation. The current minster is the 3rd generation in York, as it’s predecessors were built by request, the first minster in the 7th-11th centuries. In 741AD the church was destroyed by fire, the ideal opportunity to rebuild a more impressive structure.
Following this, the church was damaged in 1069, but the Normans who had previously settled in York organised repairs. It was sadly destroyed again by the Danes in 1075, and rebuilt again in 1080 in the Norman style. Following 1220 the current minster was constructed. It’s a royal and regal building that can take your breath away. Internally it’s mind blowing, (but I didn’t have the change or the time to pay for a permit to photograph inside the mister (I will be going soon though!)
The Minster has gone through many face lifts, tweaks and reconstructions through the ages and it’s impressive it still looks as crisp as ever, even when covered in metal support work and scaffolding like a geeky teenager with a brace (I feel the minsters pain and shame having suffered years of dental work) But the minster is certainly benefiting from such work. The amazing masonry work is carried out around the corner from the minster in the york stone yard which used york stone on the continuous repairs and structural work the minster is undergoing.
It’s towering height overpowered me, making me feel as minuscule as a grain of sand stood under the vast building, feeling the stare of the cold stone faced gargoyles above. You cannot help but lose your breath as you take in the crisp lines of the Gothic construction .
The stone windows run parallel in uniform sequence reflecting the eye upwards further and further to the towers and the detail that is captured. The stained glass windows showing years of time and effort that has been loving given up as a reflection of religion.
I’ve never quite been able to capture the true essence of the Minster, and I feel that with more time (I felt rushed with the race to squeeze everything in) I could really do this place justice.
Domineering, empowering, and one of the larger monumental structures that has survived the suffering York has had to undergo throughout the ages. It’s a true testament to the city and even as an unreligious person I can truly appreciate a house of God.