York Minster’s history revealed

The 2,000-year history of one of Britain’s most beautiful cathedrals is to be explored as never before in a brand new interactive attraction.

York Minster

Revealing York Minster will open on 25 May at the city’s most famous religious building, and aims to tell the story of the cathedral’s site, from Roman times to its modern day custodians.

The Undercroft at York Minster

Never-seen-before artefacts are to be displayed in the Undercroft of York Minster, an area that was initially created for emergency excavations in the 1970s. An extraordinary hidden history was uncovered during its construction, when they found the remains of Roman barracks, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery and the foundations of the original Norman minster.

These discoveries illustrate the site’s history, bringing it to life in an journey that allows visitors to see, touch and hear 2,000 years of York’s past. Newly-installed glass floors enable visitors to see some of the remaining Roman walls beneath their feet, while a fascinating illuminated manuscript known as the York Gospels will be displayed for the first time. It is nearly 1,000 years old but this priceless book is still used in ceremonies in the cathedral today.

Dean of York, the Very Reverend Vivienne Faull

“York Minster has stood at the heart of the city for centuries, but even before that, this site was instrumental in the growth of York, from a military barracks into a major conurbation,” says the Dean of York, the Very Reverend Vivienne Faull. “This means that the land upon which the cathedral now stands has been a centre – military, political, social and theological – for that whole time, influencing not only regional but national history. Revealing York Minster brings together the archaeological discoveries and the written archives – dating back to the 7th century.”

The new attraction – part of a £20 million, five-year project – is not just about visitors discovering the past, but also a way for them to see how the building is used today. A video detailing ‘a day in the life of the Minster’ demonstrates the roles of the people who work in this magnificent building.

For more information call 0844 939 0011.