"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Thursday, 2 May 2013

York Minster

York Minster was beautiful - the architecture and stained glass just awe-inspiring. Sadly, the photos fail to do the Minster justice but they will give you a small idea of how beautiful it is if you have never been.

The Cathedral is the largest surviving Medieval Gothic cathedral north of the Alps. It is 264 ft (80m) in length with a width of 100 ft (30m) and the height from floor to vaulting is 94 ft (29m). York's nave is one of the longest in England.

Sorry for the amount of photos - far too many especially as they are not very good. You were allowed to use flash but as usual my inbuilt flash does not seem to work very well especially at distance. I can adjust the flash intensity control but that just tends to bleach everything out. If anyone has any ideas how I could improve my flash photography I really would be very grateful!

The South Transept - the oldest part of the Minster visible above ground was started around 1220. The circular rose window was re-glazed around 1500 following the Wars of the Roses with the red rose of Lancaster alternating with the newly formed Tudor rose.

Cope chests in the foreground and a memorial to Archbishop John Dolben

Archbishop Tobie Mathew tomb in the Lady Chapel

At present the East End of the Minster contains information about the conservation and restoration of the Great East Window. There is a really interesting exhibition giving visitors a rare opportunity to see the close detail of Medieval stained glass. Specialist conservators have revealed the original medieval glory of these panels. Below are a few examples

St John Glimpses God in Majesty

The Seven Churches

St John sailing to Patmo

Three Gossiping Angels

There is also a of information about stonework restoration.

The Mighty Angel and the Seven Thunders

For me, the most beautiful part of the Minster was the octagonal Chapter House. It was completed around 1290 and was designed for the Canons of York, the governing body of the cathedral, to meet and discuss policy. It has what I can only describe as the most incredible atmosphere. Unfortunately no photo of the amazing ceiling - it turned out incredibly blurred.

Brian, David and Emily decided to go up the 275 tower steps to see the views. I decided against - even if I had made it up the steps I am not keen on heights!!!! Apparently half way up there was a parapet walk with what sounded like a big drop on one side! So I think I made the right choice! It also gave me an extra three quarters of an hour to look round the Minster. We met up afterwards in the shop and I bought a couple of Green Man items :)

Outside the Cathedral a pavement artist was at work

and nearby was a model of York.

I really thought York was a beautiful City and we had a wonderful day out.


Tricia Ryder said...

Wow - very impressive...some amazing stained glass and you got some really detailed shots... not easy I know.

One day perhaps I'll get up that way for a visit!!

And a very talented pavement artist!

Ragged Robin said...

Tricia Ryder - Thanks very much Tricia for your kind comments :)

TBH I was disappointed in the photos although I have put the better ones on the blog :)You should have seen some of them!! :)

Hope you do get to visit one day - beautiful part of the country as well as York being such a lovely City.

Em Parkinson said...

Lovely post again - particularly love the stained glass today.

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Many thanks. Stained glass my favourite too. One of these days I'll get to Ely Cathedral where I think there's a stained glass museum :) Found a company today that make stained glass jewellery :)

Wendy said...

I enjoyed this post very much, because I haven't visited York Minster for a long time and it was a lovely reminder of what a wonderful place it is. The stained glass windows are truely stunning.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) WOW!! What an incredibly beautiful place it is. I don't think you should be at all disappointed with your photos. I think they are lovely and really portray the atmosphere of the cathedral, it seemed I could feel and 'smell' the place. It is just amazing to think how long it has stood there and to think of all the people from different ages who have gazed at its magnificence just as you did...I'm sure you felt that too.

The stained glass is so very beautiful. How skilled the craftsmen were! It was sad to see vandalism mentioned though, would that be in recent times? I do hope not.

I'm with you on all those steps! As for the parapet with a big drop...nooo, definitely not thank you ;-)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Many thanks for your lovely comment - so glad you enjoyed and it reminded you of your visit :) The stained glass windows were probably the best I have seen.

ShySongbird - Hi Jan :) Thank you so much for your lovely comment and so pleased you enjoyed the photos, post and atmosphere :) The sense of history in such places is just incredible. I was fortunate to have the Chapter House almost to myself for a short while and I just sat there and tried to take it all in.

I am not sure if vandalism is recent or past - I'll have another look at the guidebook later and see if I can find any mention and let you know if I do.

I don't think I would have got up the steps tbh - you had to climb then in about 10 minutes because of people behind you with not much chance of a rest!! Had to smile at your comment re parapet - my thoughts exactly!! :)

Hope you feel a bit better.

David Turner said...

Another enjoyable post from your York visit, the Minster is a stunning example of Gothic architecture isn't it :-) Love all the images of the stained glass and monuments, but as you say the star has got to be that beautiful octagonal Chapter House, probably the grandest and most beautiful in England, though admittedly I may be somewhat biased as regards that last statement ;-)

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner - Thanks so much for your very kind comment. You are fortunate to live close to York :) The Minster, as you say, is just stunning - I could quite happily have spent all day there!! I have to agree about the Chapter House :) Just beautiful perfection!

Chris Rohrer said...

The stained glass shots are beautiful. But for some reason, that particular church gave me the creeps:) But it is fun exploring these dark places. I think we went to one in Paris called Notre Dame......bizarre and yet, I imagine it as others had seen it from the past.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks Chris - the stained glass was stunning. Its the history (as you mention), the glass and architecture that I love about churches and cathedrals.