Type the phrase “best thing to come out of Yorkshire” into the Google search bar and press enter. In the space of 0.25 seconds, circa 24,000,000 results will be offered in return. York – it’s magnificent Minster included – is surely one of them, the city itself effervescing history from it’s cobbled streets. The brilliantly named “Shambles” street, which boasts overhanging buildings dating back to the 14th century was once known as was once known as “The Great Flesh Shambles”, probably from the Anglo-Saxon word “fleshammels” which literally means “shelves of flesh”, the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. Absolutely fascinating.
A day trip to York is something I would recommend to anyone. The Minster is overwhelming both in terms of its size and ornate architecture. The Minster’s current project aims to restore the Great East Window which contains the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in Britain, and was designed by a ‘grand master’ of glass art, John Thornton. According to the Minster website; “started in 1405 and completed in 1408, the main part of the window depicts the Apocalypse, and is recognised around the world as being some of the finest medieval stained glass still in existence”.
York itself is a labyrinth of shopping streets where upmarket names such as Mulberry and Jo Malone rub shoulders with independent fashion boutiques. Retail appears to be thriving in the city – the weekday of October half-term on which I visited could have been the Saturday before Christmas such was the sheer volume of shoppers (and plummeting temperature). The city lends itself to some wonderful photographic opportunities and I feel that my first shot captures the essence of my fleeting visit. A crowd of tourists – many of them International – gathered in silence, listening to a local guide explain the history of such a striking building – a fine example of masonry and craftsmanship.