Royal Mail’s stamp of approval for York Minster’s national status as landmark

IT MAY come as little surprise to the city’s residents, but York Minster has now secured its status as among Britain’s most famous landmarks.

The Royal Mail has today announced the second part of its alphabetical celebration of the nation’s best-loved monuments and locations, to complete an initial list published last year.

The new additions take in entries starting with Manchester Town Hall through to the Zoological Society of London’s famous zoo in the capital, with York’s cathedral occupying the spot for the letter Y.

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The Royal Mail’s regional operations director, Alison Wright, said: “Our two-part journey around the UK has proved a wonderful reminder of the fantastic number of landmarks, such as York Minster, that we are fortunate to enjoy.

“York Minster is without doubt one of the most glorious cathedrals that we are fortunate enough to house here in the UK, and its rich history is fully deserving of recognition within the special stamp set.

“Selecting just 26 locations from the hundreds we started with was always going to be a difficult task, but we hope wherever you live in the UK, you’ll agree there’s plenty to appreciate on these well-travelled stamps.”

The Minster’s site has been a place of worship as far back as 627, when a wooden structure was built to baptise the Anglo-Saxon king, Edwin of Northumbria. Construction of the existing Minster began in 1220, although it was not completed until 1407.

The cathedral attracts 900,000 visitors a year, and its Great East Window is the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.

York Council’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and social inclusion, Coun Sonja Crisp, expressed her delight at the Minster being selected, and said it was a fitting tribute as the city marks major events this year, including the Queen’s visit last week and the arrival of the Olympic torch during its national tour. York Central MP Hugh Bayley added the Minster was an “iconic symbol”.

The first set of stamps released last year listed landmarks from the letters A to L, beginning with the Angel of the North and continuing to Lindisfarne Priory. The second part of the tribute to Britain’s most famous locations includes the Old Bailey, the Tyne Bridge and the White Cliffs of Dover.