York Minster’s Central Tower is the highest point in York and is large enough to fit the Leaning Tower of Pisa inside. It was originally built between around 1220 and 1253 and is the only part of the current cathedral to have the same footprint as its Norman predecessor. Henry IV sent his master mason to help build the tower and Bishop Walter Skirlaw of Durham, who funded the Great East Window, paid for much of its construction.
The tower is the only part of the Minster to have collapsed, which happened in 1407 due to soft soil beneath its foundations. The tower was in danger of collapsing again in the 1960s before major structural work was carried out to reinforce its foundations – the space created during these works now houses the cathedral’s Undercroft attraction.
Today, visitors can climb the 275 steps to the top of the tower for spectacular views across York.