Thursday, July 18, 2013

UK Trip #21: York Minster- Top View, Going Down Video, Ghost Story

You can see the "York Eye" ferris wheel!
 In the last blog, I shared the history of the famous York Minster Cathedral and our adventure climbing to the top of it to see the spectacular view of York, England. Today's blog features pictures and video from the top, and a video of what it was like to descend that narrow, winding, unventilated, claustrophobic stairway. I've also tossed in a ghost story for you.

THE VIEWS FROM THE TOP - I managed to regulate my breathing and keep my asthma in check by counting the stairs and maintaining a pace, so I was able to get to the top without much panting!
  The views from the top were amazing. The Minster is the highest structure in the City of York, and we were over 30 stories high. We took several pictures and a short video.

 THE YORK EYE - Just like London has an enclosed Ferris Wheel on the Thames, York does, too. We didn't ride on it, but we did see it from the roof of the York Minster.

CONSTRUCTION - We understood from one of the Minster docents that since the Cathedral was completed in the 1400s, it's really always been under repair. It was no surprise to see scaffolding on part of the church when we got to the top. The present building was begun in about 1230 and completed in 1472.
Some section is always under scaffolding and repair

The 2 trancepts

STAINED GLASS - York as a whole and particularly the Minster have a long tradition of creating beautiful stained glass. Some of the stained glass in York Minster dates back to the 12th century.

Rob, happy he made it with both lungs intact

Tom loved the view

TOWERS AND BELLS - The two west towers of the Minster hold bells, clock chimes and a "concert carillon."  I didn't know what that was, so in case you don't, its: An instrument  that consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are serially played to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A traditional manual carillon is played by striking a keyboard — the stick-like keys of which are sometimes called batons — with the fists, and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. BTW- if you're German, you know it better as a " Glockenspiel."
   The north-west tower contains Great Peter (10.8 tons) and the six clock bells (the largest weighing just over 3 tons). The south-west tower holds 35 bells. The clock bells ring every quarter of an hour during the daytime and Great Peter strikes the hour.

HERE'S A VIDEO OF HOW IT IS TO DESCEND THE STAIRS: You may hear the guy with bad knees that was ahead of us as he struggled to go DOWN the stairs !
View from the first walkway going down

GHOSTS AT THE YORK MINSTER - According to the book "Haunted York" by Rupert Matthews (which I bought while in the town), there have been a couple of ghosts at the York Minster. One ghost was that of a stone mason that carved a piece of  stone work from the 1060s. In 1964 a woman had stopped outside the cathedral to admire the carving and a man walked up to her and asked if she liked the carving. Before she could respond, she said the man vanished into "thin air."

Another ghost story involves the spirit of a man who was the dean of the church. Dean Gale died in 1702 and was buried in the Minster. He always sat in the same seat in the front of the church. Six weeks after Gale's death Mr. Hawley was reading during the communion service, and stopped. He claimed that Dean Gale was sitting in the front row of the church, just as he always had. Several others who have read from the pulpit over time have also claimed to see Dean Gale sitting in the front row.



Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next