For a number of years the East End of the Minster, equal in glory to the rest of it, has been arrased by scaffold and board. Tourists could marvel at the lift system, the masons and engineers clinging to their hard hats as they raise themselves up the metres of stone and glass. The interior of the Minster darkened by the huge opaque materials clinging to the exterior. After major reconstruction work has been undertaken, the refurbished East Window (known as the Great Window) will be unveiled again to an expectant public – though not just yet. However, the revealing of parts of the south-east turrets marks a key step in the process, allowing a gaze at the restored stone work.
Now, from the centre tower, visitors will be able to view this at closer range. The on-going work to repair the window itself is part of the York Minster Revealed Project which will eventually encompass the East Front and Great Window, England’s answer to the Sistine Chapel. The 10.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant has also allowed the creation of the Stoneyard which will be holding an Open Dat on the 10th August, giving visitors an opportunity to meet the masons and learn more about the skills that go into a project as vast in scale as this.
You can also meet the apprentices which are undergoing training the in craft skills which go into the award winning conservation studios, putting York on the international map. Special guided tours are available of the behind-the-scenes areas and you’ll even be able to take the aforementioned lift to the top of the East End to see the restoration underway.