York Minster [Illustrated]
The 20th century saw a great deal of preservation work, especially after a survey revealed the building was close to collapse. Restoration work was completed in , and includes new roof bosses based on designs by schoolchildren who entered a competition organised by BBC Television. York Minster incorporates all the major stages of Gothic architectural development in England. It has an extra-wide Decorated Gothic nave , a Decorated Gothic chapter house , a Perpendicular Gothic choir and east end, and Early English north and south transepts The west towers, west front and central tower were built in the Perpendicular style The nave is extra wide and tall, and is roofed in wood made to look like stone.
At the west end is the Great West Window , constructed in , which featuring delicate stone tracery that forms a heart in the top center. There are several other fine windows along the nave walls, dating from the early 14th century. Facing east towards the center of the cathedral, look up to your left and notice the dragon's head protruding from the wall. Its original purpose is not known for certain, but it is generally thought it functioned as a crane to lift a heavy font cover. At Its colorful panes depict biblical scenes from Genesis and Revelation: the beginning and end of the world.
In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window , with five sections over 16 meters high.
Most of the glass dates from about The window has recently been designated a memorial to all the women who lost their lives in the two world wars. The Rose Window , over the entrance in the south transept, commemorates the union of the houses of Lancaster and York through the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which ended the War of the Roses and began the Tudor dynasty.
The stonework is older than the glass, dating from The choir screen or pulpitum contains expressive sculptures of the 15 kings from William I to Henry VI. The organ in the choir has been destroyed by fire on two occasions; the current device dates from and was substantially restored in The 13th-century chapter house is considered an excellent example of the Decorated style.
It contains no central pillar, and beneath great stained glass windows are more than carved heads and figures — including humans, animals and foliage. Refine more Format Format. Items in search results. Search refinements Categories.
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Non Fiction 9. The only anthems to be sung in the minster were two in English given in the injunctions of and any others that might be set forth by the king in council. The end of the York Use came with the Prayer Book of The rubrics directed that at mass the priest was to wear 'a white alb plain, with a vestment or cope' and the other ministers 'albs with tunacles'. Albs, and in addition incense, are mentioned in the York chamberlain's roll for The church was to be cleared of all monuments and images, and scriptural texts were to be painted upon the cleansed walls; the organ was silenced; singing was practically confined to Sundays and festivals and was to be only in plainsong.
Both Prayer Book and injunctions, however, appeared on the eve of the Marian reaction. A large sum was spent in re-decorating the minster and ornamenting the walls; the accounts of the clerk of the works for included expenditure on altars, tabernacle, and candlesticks. The progress of the Reformation in the north after proved slow: despite sales of plate in and , it was not until , when Matthew Hutton with his puritan sympathies became Dean of York, that the Marian redecorations were swept away. It seems also that at this time the creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments were placed upon the reredos over the altar.
Archbishop Grindal directed in , as Holgate had before him, that all ministers in the church should communicate regularly. Holgate required them to do so every Sunday, and on other days as they felt necessary.
Grindal required communication at All Saints, Christmas, Epiphany, Purification, Easter, and Pentecost, and on the first Sunday of months in which none of those festivals occurred; Communion might be celebrated on other Sundays or holy days according to the Prayer Book. Previously, matins and Holy Communion, following the medieval pattern, had been said at different hours in the minster, but Grindal ordered Morning Prayer, Litany, and Communion to follow without intermission to encourage the people's attendance.
Holgate issued a new preaching-table, assigning turns to all dignitaries and prebendaries, while Grindal drew up another table, a copy of which was to be placed in the choir; he also forbade anyone to walk in the church during preaching. The substitution of Prayer Book for Latin services and the continuing poverty of the vicars' estates accelerated the employment of lay clerks in the choir. The first of such singing-men seem to have appeared early in the 16th century. In fact there were only ten vicars in and the number continued to fall. This change seems to have been completed by the end of the 16th century, and thereafter the vicars sang only the priest's part in the daily services of the Prayer Book; the singing men sang the alto, tenor, and bass parts, while the boys, who had previously sung only the music at obits and chantries, now sang the treble part.
A few customs survived the change in the composition of the choir: in the chapter suspended the sub-chanter because he refused to attend the practice of anthems and until the 19th century every vicar on appointment had to sing an anthem before competent judges. A change in the attitude to church ceremonies took place during the archiepiscopates of Samuel Harsnett and Richard Neile from to ; both were friends and supporters of Laud. In Neile inquired into the adequacy of the minster's ornaments, furniture, and vestments, fn. The altar screen was painted and gilded for which seventeen books of gold leaf were bought and the font repaired.
To mark James I's visit in , the chapter placed his statue in the vacant niche in the choir screen where that of Henry VI had originally been; it remained there until replaced by another of Henry VI in Civic dignitaries had long attended worship in the minster, fn.
In the archdeacon was persuaded to give up his stall to the mayor who had vacated his own to accommodate the lord president's lady. A Sunday morning service, attended by the lord mayor, with civic officials and servants, and many city residents with their retinues, was described by three visitors to the city in They heard a domestic chaplain of the archbishop preach and a 'deep and sweet snowy robe of quiristers' accompanied by the new organ.
They thought that the whole occasion 'did represent a second London'. George's Day was celebrated by the Knights of the Garter who met in the chapter house for the investiture of James, Duke of York, aged nine; while in June Archbishop Williams was enthroned in the presence of the king and his court. Despite occasional interruption by cannon balls, a full choral service was continued on Sunday mornings during the eleven-week seige of , and congregations were said to exceed a thousand.
The minster and the city churches were taken over by a special committee; the keys of the minster were given to the mayor and council who temporarily settled the dispute with the archdeacon about the seat in the choir by securing it with lock and key. By order of the mayor, various items of plate and brass were sold; the organ loft, the canopies in the choir where chantry altars had been, and three copes were removed.
It is difficult to know how long the cathedral clergy continued to officiate, but Presbyterian discipline seems to have immediately been established in York in four ministers were appointed, two at the minster and two at All Saints', Pavement. The chief of these was Edward Bowles, who preached and expounded the scriptures every Sunday in the minster and took his part in week-day expositions and lectures. At the Restoration Bowles is said to have refused the Deanery of York: it is unlikely that he could have accommodated himself to Anglican worship.
At the cessation of services in the minster there had been five vicarschoral: now only one, Thomas Mace, remained, and he was made sub-chanter. In there were four vicars and seven singing-men, who were poorly provided with prayer-, service- and anthem-books. The minster was only slowly refurnished.
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Archbishop Frewen ordered in that the great organ should be set up; and in Archbishop Dolben required the organ to be repaired and made fit for service. In the organ was removed to the choir screen at the cost of Archbishop Lamplugh A brass eagle lectern was presented to the minster in In a donor gave a crimson velvet altar cloth: fn.
Efforts were made after the Restoration to establish more frequent celebrations of Holy Communion in the minster. The weekly celebration enjoined by Archbishop Holgate in fell into disuse in Elizabeth I's reign. Archbishop Dolben in ordered the practice to be resumed. At the same time, efforts were made to improve the preaching arrangements. In Archbishop Frewen enjoined the observance of Canon 51 of which forbade a stranger to preach in a cathedral unless allowed by the archbishop of the province, the bishop of the diocese, or by either of the universities.
He also ordered every canon missing his turn to pay 20 s. In special week-day sermons were ordered to be preached in the minster during the plague. Archbishop Dolben, in , appointed canons to preach on the festivals of St. Barnabas and the Conversion of St. Paul, and the 'royal' days, and ordered the chancellor to provide sermons for Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent.
Stained Glass in York Minster by Sarah Brown » The York Glaziers Trust
Dolben also directed that canons should not come into the choir only to preach but should be present in their stalls throughout the service. The conduct of the citizens in the minster, both during and out of service time, also needed to be reformed. This was a long-standing problem, frequently complained of in 15th-century visitations. In Archbishop Neile inquired into disorderly and unseemly behaviour, especially during services, fn.
Stained Glass at York Minster
Rich and poor still used the minster during their leisure time in their own manner. In Lord Harley noted that people walked in the main aisle after the evening service during summer, while in the magistrates of St. Peter's Liberty issued a notice stating that disorderly behaviour, the bringing of young children into the minster, tobacco-chewing, and the wearing of pattens and clogs shod with iron would be punished in their court in future.