Sunday, 16th October, 2016

Today, I spent almost the whole day at York Minster. There were three choral Services - Communion, Matins and Evensong. The musical setting for all three was Stanford in B Flat, the most well-known of his several settings. The communion service was in the Quire at 10:00am. Matins at 11:30am was attended by hundreds of lawyers, barristers, solicitors, judges and sheriffs for the opening of the legal year. They were all in their robes and processed right past where we were sitting in the side aisle of the Nave. The judges, in particular, were very impressive in their purple or red robes with ermine trimmings. The appeal judges had trains that had to be carried by an assistant! It was a splendid pageant.

After Matins, Satoshi went off to the National Railway Museum. I had planned to follow him but I found the Minster so interesting and amazing that I couldn't drag myself out. I was disappointed to miss the museum but I had a great time anyway!





tower ext

York Minster is HUGE!



Standing at the back of the Nave, looking toward screen


nave and

Nave Altar



Vaulting above Nave



The screen was so wide that I could not get it all in a photo!


organ pipes

Note the stencilled pipes on the organ.


screen entry

Most of the organ pipes and the console are located above the screen.


The ceiling of the screen



The Quire



The lectern in the Quire



An angel above the Quire



How many feet would it take to wear away the stone steps like this?


light in south

A light in the south transept



Ancient and Modern together


chapter house

The Chapter House is particularly beautiful. It is octagonal and was built about 1260.



At the time, it was revolutionary to have the roof supported by beams rather than a central column.



There are many carvings above the stalls in the Chapter House, some of which are very comical indeed!



window detail

There are acres of windows from many different periods. This is an older window.


The Minster is full of works of art. Many of these are tombs, all of which have an interesting story to tell.


An angel above a memorial.



Richard Sterne (c. 1596–1683)) was the Archbishop of York from 1664 to 1683.

He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated MA in 1618, BD in 1625 and DD in 1635.[1] He was elected a fellow of Benet College (now Corpus Christi College), Cambridge in 1623 and then served as Master of Jesus College, Cambridge from 1634.

After Charles I was executed, Sterne, a Royalist, was arrested and imprisoned by the Parliamentarians later the same year. In 1644 he was formally dismissed as Master of Jesus and in 1645 he lost his rectories, although he was released from prison.

At the Restoration in 1660, Sterne was appointed Bishop of Carlisle, from where he was translated to York in 1664. He is said to have been one of those who assisted in revising the Book of Common Prayer in 1662.


tomb detail

It is difficult to comprehend the skill with which the sculptor has depicted even curtains above the archbishop and every fold of his robes in stone.



The cherubs's tears at the passing of the Archbishop. Read more details about him here. The sculptor was Grinling Gibbons, a famous artist also did some of the carving in Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and St.Paul's Cathedral, London.



The Doomstone (12th century) depicts devils heating a cauldron.



Again, the skill involved in carving this memorial is incredible. The tomb is that of Thomas Watson Wentworth.



The hand is so lifelike! (Yes, I realise there is a bit of finger missing!)




These pipes are from one of the 32ft stops of the organ. They play the lowest notes on the pedals.


In 1967, it was discovered that the central tower of the Minster was in danger of collapsing. Much work took place in excavating the foundations and strengthening them with bolts and concrete. During this time, many artefacts were found from Roman times. The Minster is actually built on the site of a Roman fortress!



Water still flows under the Minster



Part of a mural form a Roman house discovered under the Minster.




This ring and the chalice above were found in an early grave.



This book is known as the York Gospels and is over 1000 years old.


Of course, everything was handwritten on vellum (parchment made from the skin of a calf).



Some of the concrete and metal rods added in 1967 to strengthen the tower



This horn was given to the Minster in about 1030 by a Viking nobleman called Ulf who had donated some land. It is made from an elephant's tusk.



A map showing the present Minster with the Roman Fortress.



More artwork from one of the tombs

nave from

The Nave from the Nave Altar



The West Window



One of the panels in the West Window





This Archbishop must have been very fond of his dog for it to be included here!

The day finished with Evensong which included the responses by Leighton, Oculi omnium by Charles Wood, the Stanford in B flat setting of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, O all ye works of the Lord by Jackson and the organ voluntary Carillon‐Sortie by Mulet.

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