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York Minster announces reopening plans and summer exhibitions

7 May, 2021

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York Minster is preparing to welcome back sightseeing visitors from Monday 17 May with three new exhibitions planned for the summer exploring the history, architecture and Christian story of the iconic cathedral church.

The Minster has been open for worship since March, but it will be the first time people have been able to return for a general admission visit since 30 December 2020, with tickets now available to book online.

Visitors will be able to see and hear the Grand Organ, unveiled following a once-in-a-century refurbishment, as well as explore the cathedral’s next major conservation project, the medieval St Cuthbert Window, through an exhibition opening in June.

The Dean of York, Jonathan Frost, said: “We’re delighted to be reopening and look forward to welcoming people back to the Minster.

“We have developed a programme of exhibitions and activities for the summer which will enable visitors and pilgrims to explore the layers of history held in the Cathedral’s magnificent architecture, which has the Christian story at its heart.”

The project to refurbish the Grand Organ was completed in March and the instrument can now be heard throughout the week alongside the world class Choir of York Minster at Choral Evensong services, which offer the perfect way to complete a visit to the cathedral.

A photography exhibition exploring the craft skills which were applied to the £2m refurbishment project will run from 18 June – 18 July, as part of a wider programme to celebrate its return.

On Saturday 12 June a new exhibition about the medieval St Cuthbert Window, which tells the story of the life and miracles of one of Northern England’s most significant saints, will open at the cathedral. The exhibition, Light, Glass & Stone: Conserving the St Cuthbert Window, will run until 2024 and explore the cathedral’s current project to conserve the window, which is around 600-years-old and one of the largest surviving narrative windows in Europe. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to see at close range medieval stained glass panels removed from the window as part of the work.

In August the Minster will celebrate the life and work of Grinling Gibbons, the most celebrated British woodcarver of the 17th century, as part of Grinling Gibbons 300 – Carving a Place in History, a national programme marking the 300th anniversary of his death.

Grinling Gibbons: Monuments to Glory, will open at the cathedral on Sunday 1 August and focus on three stone monuments which Gibbons produced for the cathedral of Archbishops Dolben, Lamplugh and Sterne, placing these in the context of his life and wider work. The year-long exhibition will be complemented by a sculpture trail inside the cathedral.

Subject to confirmation of step 3 of the Government’s roadmap, the Minster will be open for sightseeing visits from Monday 17 May at the following times:

To help safely manage numbers inside the cathedral, all general admission visits must be booked in advance online with tickets now available here.

The cathedral has recently reintroduced Choral Evensong to its programme of services and is currently open for worship daily at the following times:

Monday – Saturday


Free tickets must be booked in advance for Sunday services and are available eight days in advance here.

York Minster has put a range of measures in place to help keep its staff, volunteers and visitors safe including enhanced cleaning, hand sanitiser points, limiting capacities and a one-way system.

The York Minster Shops inside the cathedral and at Minster Gates both reopened on Monday 12 April and are open daily and Dean’s Park, the popular green space to the north of the cathedral, is also open seven days a week.

The Library and Archives at York Minster’s Old Palace will also welcome back visitors on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from w/c 17 May by pre-booked appointments only.

For full details of all opening times, services and events at the cathedral, head to Plan Your Visit.

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