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Treasures: Yorkshire’s People and Parishes

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Discover silver, gold and diamonds in a new exhibition that showcases treasures of Yorkshire that have survived religious turmoil, fire, and war.

The exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into Yorkshire life with cherished pieces from across the North coming together to form one celebratory narrative. The objects are proudly local but tell national and global stories as the exhibition travels across counties and through parishes, charting changing cultures and traditions in churches.

See a glorious silver gilt chalice, set with a magnificent 32 carat diamond which was given to York Minster by accomplished equestrienne Lily Forepaugh. The dramatic damage to the pages of a fourteenth century cartulary, alleged to have been caused by the impact of a cannon ball, is a must-see.

Amongst the treasures are a beautiful Communion cup and cover from York church St-Michael-Le-Belfrey, the Mercier chalice, set with an amethyst ring: a powerful symbol of friendship and reunion, and a book gifted by King James I.  A pair of seventeenth century enamelled brass candlesticks, the only other pair of its kind resides in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, are beautifully decorated with flowers and scrolling foliage on a background of black and white champleve enamel.

Explore the crucial roles women play in shaping, using, and creating our collections as owners, publishers, patrons, and makers. A selection of books belonging to Yorkshire woman Margaret Hoby, considered to be the first English diarist, demonstrates this vital legacy and will be on rotation in the exhibition.

Running until February 2025, Treasures: Yorkshire’s People and Parishes is on display in the cathedral’s historic Treasury.

Entrance to the exhibition is included in general admission. The exhibition is open during standard visiting hours.

York Minster has a living collection which includes objects that are still used in the cathedral today. If you are making a special journey to see a specific object, please do contact us so we can check whether or not it will be on display. 

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