York Minster welcomes royal visitor

His Royal Highness, the Duke of York KG visited York Minster today (13 May) to meet the skilled craftsmen and women who are restoring and conserving the cathedral’s East End and Great East Window.

The Duke visited York Minster’s Stoneyard and the York Glaziers Trust to speak with the stonemasons, carvers and glaziers working on the conservation and restoration project, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, before taking a tour of the East End to see the work.

The programme to restore the medieval masterpiece is part of the York Minster Revealed (YMR) project, a £20million investment jointly funded by the York Minster Fund (YMF) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which brings together cutting-edge science and ancient craftsmanship.

The Duke of York has been patron of the YMF, which raises money to fund conservation and restoration work at the cathedral, since 1989.

Rebecca Thompson, Superintendent of Works at York Minster, said: “It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness to York Minster today and explain the work being undertaken by the team and York Glaziers Trust to restore the East End and Great East Window.

“York Minster is a masterpiece in stained glass and stone but its 800-year-old fabric requires constant care and attention to protect it from the elements and decay. The work undertaken as part of York Minster Revealed will help ensure this medieval masterpiece is protected for many generations to come.”

Restored panels from the Great East Window, which is the single, largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the country, are currently on display inside the Orb attraction in the cathedral, but work to return them to the window is due to begin in June.

The Orb, which opened in October 2012, has given more than 1.4million people the chance to see at close-range some of the world’s most important medieval stained-glass windows and learn more about the skilled craftsmanship being used to restore the Great East End. It will permanently close on 31 May 2015 to allow York Glaziers Trust to begin the epic task of returning the restored stained glass to the Great East Window.

Other developments as part of the YMR project include a permanent, new state-of-the-art visitor attraction, Revealing York Minster in the Undercroft, which offers visitors the chance to explore 2,000 years of history at the cathedral’s site.


Notes to editors:

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about. www.hlf.org.uk

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