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York Minster Chapter House

Medieval stonemasons let loose

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(This is Section 4 of the York Minster Itinerary.)

From the North Transept walk along the passage or vestibule in the right-hand corner to enter the Chapter House.

A chapter house is a room built to hold meetings in.
This spectacular chapter house (1260-1286) is a hidden gem in a corner of the Minster. It’s octagonal and about 20 metres across, with a large domed ceiling. Though this ceiling is of heavy timber, covered in lead, it has been so constructed that its weight is supported without needing a pillar in the centre, obstructing the meeting space.

Round the sides there are stalls giving equal precedence to all participants. It’s worth taking a closer look at the detail of these, as they are decorated with all manner of extraordinary medieval stone carvings. These whimsical contributions of the stonemasons to future ages include animals, birds, delicate foliage, monsters and faces, some very rude.

Tip If one of the 800 year-old stonework heads takes your fancy, check out the shop. It has copies of many of them on sale,

Tip As a fun challenge for children, try looking for: a cheeky monkey; two lovebirds, a pig; and a pug dog. Also, in the vestibule, Jack of the Green (The Green Man) is hiding all over the place. How many times can you find him?

To continue the tour of York Minster return to the Tour Itinerary (Section 5).


At A Glance

Address:
York Minster
York YO1
Price:
n/a
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