Exploring the architectural history of York

As a nation, we are quick to assume that to experience the most intriguing cultural histories one must travel to the other side of the world, often spending a small fortune to do so. However, as much as our horizons can be broadened by foreign journeys, our ability to realise the beauty of places much closer to home can sometimes be tainted.

To help change this, here is the first of four articles exploring some of the UK’s most interesting areas of architectural history:


Surrounded by the most complete medieval walls still existing in the country and overlooked by the breathtaking sight of the Gothic-style Minster, York is a city filled with architectural treasures.

The Minster

Consecrated in 1472, York’s cathedral took 250 years to construct and is the second largest Gothic cathedral in Europe. The building contains an impressive collection of medieval stained glass, some of which dates back to the 12th Century. The Great East Window is 76ft tall and is the greatest concentration of medieval stained glass throughout the world.

The Jorvic Centre

Between 1976 and 1981, York Archaeological Trust’s architects discovered and revealed the remains of the Viking city of Jorvic, dating back almost 1,000 years. Houses, backyards and workshops were all unearthed, and the Jorvic Viking Centre has been created on the very site where the discoveries were made. The attraction has proven popular, as visitors are propelled into the world of the Vikings as they are taken on a ride around the ancient city.

The Shambles

York is ideal for those who enjoy a spot of shopping, along with a coffee and cake break or two. Quaint, narrow streets wind their way through the city, the most famous being The Shambles. The buildings of the Shambles, built it the fifteenth century, lean in almost touching each other. The street is known as the oldest in York and is one of the best preserved medieval streets in Europe.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
July 3, 2015

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