Over the centuries the Minster has collected a range of priceless and irreplaceable treasures of international significance.
Horn of Ulf
Viking lord Ulf gifted land to the Chapter of York Minster using an elaborately carved elephant tusk as a deed of transfer. Known as the Horn of Ulf, the 1000 year old tusk has been preserved in superb condition and is one of the few artefacts surviving from the beginning of the 11th century.
The tusk is decorated with elaborate figures carved in Salerno in Italy and features silver mounts, replacing gold originals which were stripped during the 1500s.
The York Gospels
The York Gospels were brought to York in around 1020 by Archbishop Wulfstan and the 1,000 year old text is still used in services today. The Anglo-Saxon book is one of the most valuable in York Minster’s collection and is one of the few surviving items from the Saxon Minster, the location for which is unknown today.
It contains four Gospels rather than the whole bible and is filled with elaborate illustrations as well as a letter from King Canute dated around 1019. It’s believed its original pages were written in Canterbury in around 990AD, with additional pages added to the manuscript by the Dean and Chapter after they arrived in York.
The Gospels are currently on display in the cathedral’s Revealing York Minster in the Undercroft attraction. The book is stored behind glass but visitors can turn virtual pages of the book to take a closer look at some of the illuminated pages using touch screen displays adjacent to the case.
Learn more about our collections here