York Minster

York Minster

Contact York Minster on 01904 557200 if you need information concerning worship services or tourist bookings at the cathedral.

About York Minster

York Minster is the common name for the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York. It is one of the largest cathedrals in the north of Europe. Records show that the first church on the site was a wooden structure assembled in 627, which was replaced by a stone building in 637. It had fallen into disrepair by 670, when Saint Wilfrid repaired it and established an attached library and school. The church was ruined by fire in 741, then passed through various Benedictine archbishops and damaging invaders until it was rebuilt from 1080 in Norman style. The Gothic style arrived in England in the 12th century, and archbishop Walter de Gray ordered the addition of new Gothic structures in 1220. Further constructions continued for the next two hundred years, seeing the collapse and rebuilding of the central tower, until 1472 when the church was properly completed and consecrated.

The church was unfortunately looted and besieged during the English Reformation, Elizabeth I’s reign, and the English Civil War. Restoration took place through the 1700s and 1800s, but further fire damage left the church in debt until Augustus Duncombe revived it from 1858. The 20th century saw concerted efforts towards preservation and repairs. The cathedral is built from magnesian limestone and features around two million pieces of stained glass in the ornate windows. The Great East Window is reportedly the largest article of medieval stained glass in the world. The Minster also has a rose window in the south transept and a heart-shaped design in the West Window, which locals refer to as the Heart of Yorkshire.  It is still a functioning Christian church today, hosting regular sermons, services, and choirs. The church can host life events including baptisms, weddings, memorials, and funerals as well.

York Minster Opening Times

It is free to worship at York Minster, and there are four services every day as well as places for individual prayer during the day. Contact the Minster to learn more about worship services and times on the day of your visit. These will take place between 7.30am and 6pm every day. If you are attending York Minster as a tourist, general visiting hours are from 9am to 4.30pm on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays, visitors are welcome from 12.45pm to 3pm. The Undercroft Museum opens at a later time of 10am from Monday to Saturday, and 1pm to 3.15pm on Sundays. If you would like to visit the gift shop to purchase souvenirs, the shop will be open from 10am to 5.30pm except on Sundays, when it only opens at 12.30pm. Free optional guided tours are available from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm, which take about 1 hour.

Access to explore York Minster costs £10 per adult, or £9 for seniors over 65 and students with valid ID. Entry for children under 16 years old is free. Official guidebooks of York Minster are available for £6 at the time of purchasing tickets. Your entrance ticket is valid for any day up to 12 months from the date you choose when you buy online. Entry tickets are available to buy in person on the day, but at a higher price. These standard tickets only allow entry to the cathedral and museum. Trips climbing the tower are dependent on the weather, so visitors can only buy tickets for this at the entrance. Access to the tower costs £5 per person. York residents with proof of address can get free access to the Minster only. There are four packages for school trips, or the option of general group bookings for 10-30 people, with admission discounts.

Contacting York Minster

To contact York Minster and request information about services, tours, or bookings, call 01904 557200. You can also receive assistance via e-mail by contacting info@yorkminster.org. To enquire about groups and school trips, call 01904 557275 or e-mail bookings@yorkminster.org. If you need to speak to York Minster about finding lost property, then contact police@yorkminster.org. Personal photography is allowed, but visitors should get permission for commercial photography or filming by contacting York Minster at marketing@yorkminster.org. Close to York city centre, York Minster is easy to locate. You can find it at the following address, which you can also use to post mail to the Minster:

York Minster