York Minster

BookYork Minster

York Minster

An architectural history c 1220-1500

English Heritage


July 15th, 2014

Access Token




York Minster is one of England’s greatest Gothic Buildings and the repository for the largest single collection of medieval stained glass in Britain, most of which remains in situ. This cathedral of the northern province, which every year attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors, was built over a period of more than 300 years.

This book charts the construction of the Minster as we see it today and traces its development, which was by no means smooth and uninterrupted. Progress was checked by financial constraint, Scottish wars, the effects of plague, political upheaval, structural crisis, local rebellion and sometimes the indifference of the archbishop and Minister clergy. For many years at a time the liturgy for the Minster was performed against a backdrop of scaffolding and half-built masonry.

The analysis of the Minster in this book is based on the architectural recording of the building begun in the early 1970s by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, which subsequently merged with English Heritage. The book not only provides an invaluable summary of the state of our understanding of the building, but also offers new insights into aspects of its complex story.

Author Information

Sarah Brown is an author, as well as the senior lecturer and course director of MA in Stained Glass Conservation and Heritage Management at the University of York.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half-Title Page2
Title Page4
Copyright Page350
Prologue: The Architectural Inheritance c 627–122018
1. Archbishop Walter de Grey and the Construction of the Transepts28
2. 'As the Rose is the Flower of Flowers, so this is House of Houses' The Building of the Chapter House64
3. 'A New Church of Costly Workmanship' The Building of the Nave c 1291–1360104
4. 'Uniform Beauty' The Building of the Lady Chapel154
5. The Western Choir and the Central Tower186
6. Imagery, Patronage and Politics in the Minster 1400–1500234
Colour plates258
Appendix 1: The Archbishops and Deans of York 1154–1540292
Appendix 2: The Stone Shields293
Appendix 3: The Stained-glass Windows295
Appendix 4: The Date of the Chapter House Roof309
Appendix 5: York Minster after the Reformation: A Summary313
Bibliography and References Cited331