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.