Minster’s long history set to be revealed in new attraction

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THE Dean of York has heralded moves to bring the past of the city’s iconic Minster to life in the 21st century with the launch of a new tourist attraction in the spring.

The Revealing York Minster project will be unveiled to the public from May 25 to provide an insight into how the world-famous cathedral has evolved through the centuries.

The new visitor attraction will feature a network of interactive galleries, housed in the Undercroft and Treasury below the cathedral, which tells the long and colourful story of York Minster.

It will chart the history from the era of the Roman garrison who were stationed on the site to the current work of the staff, clergy and volunteers.

The Dean of York, Vivienne Faull, claimed the exhibitions will help uncover hidden aspects of the cathedrals for many of the tens of thousands of visitors to the Minster each year.

She added: “Our visitors generally spend their time marvelling at the architecture of the building and the stunning stained glass works, but seeing the building as it is today only tells part of York Minster’s rich history, which stretches back to the time of the Roman city of Eboracum, centuries before the first Minster was built.

“Revealing York Minster is effectively a visitor attraction in its own right which tells the story of this site through history, illustrated by real archaeological finds and artefacts collected and stored in our archives.”

The Minster’s visitor services team is now recruiting volunteers to help the public explore the new attraction when it opens at the end of May.

The attraction is the latest element of the £20m York Minster Revealed project, which is aimed at opening the cathedral up to a wider audience.

The five-year initiative is being supported by a £10.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is the largest restoration and conservation project of its kind in the UK.

State-of-the-art multi-media galleries, new displays of historic collections and interactive interpretations will create new learning opportunities for visitors, and there will also be improved access to the South Transept, Undercroft, Treasury and Crypt.

The 108 restored panels from the Great East Window, which is the largest expanse of stained glass in the world, will be reinstalled by the summer of 2016.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the Revealing York Minster project can contact volunteering manager Susan Mason on 0844 939 0023 extension 2360 or email susanm@yorkminster.org for details.

email paul.jeeves@ypn.co.uk