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Stone Carving Depicting Samson Forcing Open The Mouth Of A Lion While Delilah Cuts His Hair
York Minster - An Ancient Centre Of Worship

The Nave

The Nave, York MinsterWhen work commenced on York Minster's nave in 1291 the builders were worried by the weight of the stone vaulting and spanned the space with wood, creating, through pure practicality, one of the purest and most beautiful architectural features of any building in Britain.

The widest Gothic nave in England, you are immediately struck, on entering the cathedral, by the sheer scale of your surroundings. As we walk through the west door, a statue to your right shows the Minster's patron saint, St Peter holding his symbol, a key.

Behind and above you stands the magnificent West Window, built between 1338-39 in the Curvilinear Decorated style. The master mason was Ivo de Raghtan and it was glazed by Master Robert under the direction of Archbishop William Melton (1316-40).

Stained Glass Window Detail, The Nave, York MinsterThe nave also contains several examples of Norman stained glass on both the north and south sides, the finest example being a panel depicting St Nicholas riding over a cheat who had stolen from a money lender.

If you look directly above, you will notice eight key roof bosses, they are about 1 metre wide and portray scenes from the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Kings, Resurrection, Ascention, Pentecost, Assumption of the Virgin and Coronation of the Virgin.

No-one knows the purpose of the dragon's head which protrudes high from the left hand wall of the nave. One suggestion has it that, because it is a pivot and has a hole through its neck, it was originally used as the mechanism for raising the font cover. A chain would have passed through the hole and by raising the dragon's head the font cover would be lifted so that baptism could take place.

Walk on to the North Transept

Stone Carving Depicting Phyllis Riding Aristotle


Welcome | Nave | North Transept | Chapter House | Choir | East End | South Transept
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