SE6052SW MINSTER YARD
1112-1/27/1 Cathedral Church of St Peter, York
Cathedral and Chapter House. Transepts 1220-1255; aisled nave
1291-1360, Chapter House 1275-90. Lady Chapel 1361-71; Choir
and integral transepts c1380-1418; east end 1360-c1408; Zouche
Chapel and Vestry late C14. West front and towers c1290-c1470;
crossing tower 1410-70; Library 1418-20; Choir screen c1460.
Rededication 3 July 1472.
Floor paved to designs of Lord Burlington 1730-6. Chapter
House vault renewed in plaster by John Carr 1798. Restored
1802-28 by William Shout. Fire 1829. Choir roof rebuilt
1829-32 by Sir Robert Smirke. Fire 1840. Nave roof rebuilt
1840-44 by Sydney Smirke. South transept restored 1871 by GE
Street. Flying buttresses added to nave 1905-7 by GF Bodley.
Extensive restoration 1966-72 by Bernard Fielden. Fire 1984.
South transept roof rebuilt 1984-88.
MATERIALS: oolitic limestone ashlar from Tadcaster and lead
roofs with wood and plaster vaults: Chapter House has
STYLE: Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles.
PLAN: aisled nave with western towers; crossing tower and
aisled transepts, with chapter house to north and former
library to south. Eastern arm consisting of aisled choir and
Lady Chapel with integral transepts; Zouche Chapel and vestry
to south of choir.
EXTERIOR: west end is flanked by 4-stage buttressed towers
encircled by tiers of gabled niches. West door in centre in
single-arched doorway with gable hood, flanked by 3 rows of
niches, some containing restored statuary of 1802-16. West
window is of 8 lights with elaborate flowing tracery in the
head and gable hood which rises into nave gable: both gables
are filled with blind tracery. Nave gable capped by parapet of
pierced stepped battlements and central openwork pinnacle.
Towers have traceried double doors in arched doorways of 5
orders of filleted shafts with foliate capitals and octagonal
bases. Above are 3-light windows with geometrical tracery and
gable hoods to second stage; to third stage, 4-light
reticulated windows over row of niches. Bell openings are of 3
lights with perpendicular tracery and ogee hoods. Tower
parapets are of pierced battlements with corner and
Nave aisles divided into 6 bays by deep buttresses with
gargoyles and crocketed pinnacles, each bay having a 3-light
window; clerestories have seven 5-light windows, separated by
flying buttresses. Windows all have geometrical tracery: nave
is capped with blind traceried parapet, clerestory with
parapet of pierced battlements with finials.
North transept front, flanked by buttresses, has blind
arcading below 5 tall lancets and 5 smaller ascending lancets
in the gable. To the west are 2 small aisle lancets and, at
north-west corner, buttressed octagonal staircase turret with
slit windows and plain parapet. East and west fronts have
arcaded lancet windows: in east front a cusped doorway with
colonnette jamb shafts with stiffleaf capitals. Windows are
arcaded beneath hoodmoulds enriched with dogtooth mouldings.
At north-east corner, L-shaped vestibule with loft leads to
octagonal chapter house. Vestibule buttresses rise into
detached pinnacles, the upper parts tied back with open
traceried flyers. Chapter house buttresses rise to cruciform
gableted pinnacles with crockets and finials, tied with flyers
at two levels, one blind traceried, the other raking. Windows
are of 2 lights or 5 lights, with geometrical tracery and
deeply set in wall thicknesses. Masons' loft over vestibule
has square-headed 2-light windows.
South transept front and aisles are flanked by buttressed
octagonal turrets with tapered roofs and crocket finials.
Shallow vaulted porch in centre has restored traceried door in
arched doorway: shafts are filleted and have stiffleaf
capitals, inner door arch of continuous stiffleaf mouldings,
the outer of dogtooth. Above is a triple gable hood with
trefoiled arches and dogtooth mouldings. Above again are 3
lancets and in the gable a rose window of concentric circles
of arches with central sexfoiled circle. Aisles have blind
arcading below paired lancets, with further pairs of lancets
At south-west corner is former library of 2 storeys, 4 bays.
2-light windows are square-headed with iron glazing bars and
hoodmoulds: two openings contain shallow 2-centred arched
doorways with C19 nail studded doors.
Crossing has single stage lantern tower with thin angle
buttresses and pierced embattled parapet. Each face has two
3-light windows with perpendicular tracery and ogee hoods,
flanked by tiered niches.
In the eastern arm, transepts have buttresses rising into
crocketed pinnacles and 4-tiered windows of 5 panel traceried
lights beneath hoodmoulds on head stops. Aisles have 3-light
perpendicular windows, 3 to west, 4 to east, with crocketed
hoodmoulds, separated by buttresses with crocketed pinnacles
and gargoyles. Clerestory has 4 windows on each side of
transept, three each of 5 lights, one of 4 lights, all with
panel tracery. Those to west have plain hoods; to east,
arcaded external screens of 3 cusped lights or paired lancets
with transoms. Bays are defined by pilaster buttresses rising
to crocket pinnacles with finials. Aisle has blind traceried
parapet, clerestory and transepts a pierced embattled parapet.
Aisled east end is flanked by buttresses encrusted with gabled
niches and with crocketed spirelets. East window is of 9
lights with perpendicular tracery in the head, beneath tall
ogee hood rising above the gable end. Aisle end windows are of
3 panel traceried lights with crocketed ogee hoods. Over all
three windows are bands or tiers of niches and above, open
arcaded gabled parapet with crocket finials.
INTERIOR:6-bay aisled Choir and 3-bay Lady Chapel, both with
triforium and clerestory, the aisles incorporating
quasi-transepts. Arcades of moulded arches are carried on
compound piers of multiple columns with leaf capitals.
Triforium is galleried, of arcaded and transomed cinquefoiled
lights with blind panelled parapet at the base. Clerestory
windows are in arches of 2 orders. Full height shafts carry
the vaults, the capitals to the Choir shafts being sculpted
figures, to the Lady Chapel shafts canopies. Below the
windows, the aisles are arcaded in moulded square-headed
surrounds, in pairs and triplets of blind trefoil headed
panels on colonnettes with moulded capitals. Windows are
arched in 3 orders of shafts with foliate capitals and flanked
by tiers of canopied niches. Aisle vaults are quadripartite
and carried on slim colonnettes with foliate capitals. East
window is flanked by tiers of canopied niches and the lower
two rows of the window are screened by an arcaded stone
gallery. Screens at west end of aisles are shallow 4-centred
arches with traceried spandrels, each flanked on one side by
tiered arches with C19 sculpture; C18 wrought-iron gates have
leaf trail overthrows. Choir screen has ogee-gabled central
porch and doorway. On each side are vaulted niches containing
sculpted figures of kings of England from William I to Henry
VI (a C19 replacement) beneath elaborately pinnacled and
crocketed canopies. Above are stucco angels. Round-arched
doorway closed by early C18 wrought-iron gates with radiating
tympanum entwined with leaf trails; panelled porch within is
Transepts are of 3 aisled bays, aisles blind arcaded beneath
windows. Arcade piers are compound of alternately filleted
shafts with waterhold bases and stiff-leaf capitals, those in
north transept with animals. Arches are of moulded 2-centred
arches of 3 orders with dogtooth enrichment. Galleried
triforium of twinned pairs of lancets, each pair beneath a
pointed sub-arch with pierced quatrefoil in the head, both
pairs within outer round arch with pierced cinquefoil in the
head. Wrought-iron gates to St Nicholas Chapel in north
transept are C18; re-used late C17 entrance screen to KOYLI
Chapel and enclosing grilles of 1925. Chapter House portal is
of two cusped pointed arches beneath tiers of super arches and
gables with central mullion and tympana pierced by encircled
quatrefoils and a cinquefoil with leaf cusps. Pierced panel
traceried screens close the doorway. Tunnel-vaulted roofs are
carried on shafts rising from foliate corbels.
Crossing is arcaded below a lantern of paired arched lights
beneath crocketed ogee hoods. Wood vault c1470.
8-bay aisled nave with galleried triforium and clerestory.
Nave arcades carried on compound piers of shafts, most with
naturalistic leaf capitals, the minor ones with figure
capitals. Triforium of arcaded trefoil headed lights is
combined with clerestory within 1-order arch.
Aisle walls and west end lined beneath windows with blind
arcaded trefoil headed panels beneath crocketed gable hoods
Windows are arched in 2 roll-moulded and filleted orders with
leaf capitals and flanked by blind traceried panels in
crocketed gable hoods with figure stops. Doorway in north
aisle has overdoor beneath a gabled hood of the Virgin beneath
a canopy flanked by censing angels. Over the west doors are
sculpted groups of figures.
Walls of the Chapter House Vestibule are lined with blind
arcades of twin cusped lights in 2-centred arches on shafts
with foliate capitals, some incorporating figures or animals.
Blind cinquefoil tracery in arch heads have central bosses.
Quadripartite stone vaults have leaf bosses. Over the door to
the Chapter House is a restored statue of The Virgin beneath a
canopy. C13 doors with original scrolled ironwork.
Chapter House is lined with niche seats beneath octagonal
canopies, the rear supported on Purbeck marble shafts, the
fronts pendant on leaf balls. Above are gablets with tiny head
stops, and above the gables a frieze of naturalistic foliage.
Over the door, empty niches originally contained statues of
Christ and the Apostles. Painted plaster vaulted ceiling.
Arch spandrels to Choir, Lady Chapel, both choir aisles, nave
arcade, and to arches beneath the crossing are filled with the
heraldry of benefactors.
FITTINGS: include: two C13 cope chests with fine wrought-iron
scrollwork; brass eagle lectern, 1686; Gothic choir stalls by
Sir R Smirke, post 1829; organ of 1832 by Elliot and Hill;
Lady Chapel triptych reredos of carved stone, GF Bodley, 1905;
pulpit by N Comper, 1948.
STAINED GLASS includes a wealth of medieval and later glass:
including much reused C12 glass in the nave clerestory; the
Five Sisters windows c1250 in the north transept; seven late
C13 windows in the chapter house, restored by John Barnet and
Son, c1840; various early C14 windows in the north nave aisle;
the Great West Window c1339; the Great East Window by John
Thornton 1405-8; further early C15 windows in the choir,
including the St William window in the north transept c1423
and the St Cuthbert window in the south transept c1440,
probably also by Thornton; the Rose Window early C16 in the
south transept; also important C17 English and French glass,
and late C18 painted glass by William Peckitt to designs by
Biagio Rebecca. C19 glass includes windows by Kempe and
Company in the transepts.
MONUMENTS: include important medieval tombs to Archbishop
Walter de Grey d.1255, the mutilated tomb to Archbishop Bowet
1313-15, Archbishop Greenfield d.1315, an alabaster effigy to
Prince William of Hatfield d.1346; to Archbishop Savage
d.1507. A good series of Jacobean style tombs including those
to:- Matthew Hutton d.1600; a rare painted wall monument to
Edward Bunney d.1618; Sir William Gee d.1611; Sir Henry
Belsaye d.1624; Frances Matthew d.1629; and to Accepted Frewn
d.1664. A fine series of late C17 and C18 monuments including
those to: Archbishop Richard Sterne by Grinling Gibbons,
Archbishop Dolben d.1686; Archbishop Lamplugh d.1691, also by
Gibbons; William Wentworth, 2nd Earl of Strafford d.1691 and
his wife by Jan Van Nost; John Sharp d.1713, by Francis Bird;
Thomas Watson-Wentworth d.1723 and his wife by William Kent;
Sir George Savile by J Fisher, 1789. Various C19 and C20
monuments including an unusual brass Gothic Revival monument
to William Mason and John Dixon by FA Skidmore, 1862; a
Crimean War memorial to the KOYLI of 1903 by GF Bodley; and a
First World War memorial to the 6th Battalion of the KOYLI of
1921 by Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale.
Listing NGR: SE6032152195
This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 30 October 2017.