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Factsheet 11

Parts of the Minster



Lady Chapel



Quire Chapter House

North Transept

Central Tower

South Transept

Nave Key to Architectural Styles Early English

1220 - 1260


1260 - 1350


1361 - 1472

Produced by York Minster Centre for School Visits Š Dean & Chapter of York 2006

Factsheet 11

Parts of the Minster The South Transept Funded by Archbishop Walter Gray, the South Transept is the oldest part of the present Minster. It was built between cica 1220 and 1255. In 1984 the roof of the South Transept was destroyed by fire and the glass of the Rose Window was badly cracked. The North Transept Built about the same time as the South Transept, it benefits from the fact that the masons who built it did not replicate mistakes made in the South Transept. Today the North Transept is kept clear and is often used as an exhibition or performance space. At Christmas it is the site of the crib, during Lent the Easter garden is constructed beneath the Five Sisters Window The Chapter House The magnificent thirteenth century Chapter House is historically the meeting place of the Dean and Chapter of York who form the government of the Minster. The Chapter House is noted for its size and also the quality of the glass and carving. The Nave This is the western-most part of the Minster. It was built between 1291 and about 1360. Traditionally it was a vast open and unfurnished public space rarely used for public worship. In the nineteenth century Sunday services were introduced by Dean Duncombe. Today the Nave is used for worship every Sunday and it is also used as the venue for large scale services, as it can seat almost 2000 people. The Lady Chapel This chapel occupies the central space at the East End of the Minster and construction of it began in 1361. From late 2007 this end of the Minster will cease to be used for worship. Major restoration work will require scaffolding to be built from the floor to the vault inside the Minster. The Quire Almost like a church within a church the Quire is the enclosed area to the east of the Crossing. It was used in the Middle Ages by the Minster clergy to hold the seven daily services. Each member of the Dean and Chapter has a stall in the Quire and it is also where the Archbishop has his Cathedra, his seat as bishop. At the far east raised above the floor level of the Quire is the sanctuary where the high altar is situated. Today the Quire is used most evenings for the last service of the day, Evensong. The Crossing This is the area immediately below the Central Tower, dividing the Transepts, and separating the eastern arm from the Nave. During Advent a large Advent wreath is suspended from the tower and at Easter a large plain wooden cross occupies the same

Produced by York Minster Centre for School Visits Š Dean & Chapter of York 2006

Parts of the Minster  

A map and descriptions of various parts of the building

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