For a while residents have used their YorkCard, along with other forms of identity, to prove that they are locals and therefore entitled to enter York Minster for free.
But it was never an official arrangement – until now.
From today (Thursday, May 22) every YorkCard gives its holder free access to the main areas of the Minster.
(This is not guaranteed – the terms and conditions say “Please bring your YorkCard with you at all times. You may be also asked to provide proof of identity.”)
The YorkCard, which costs a £3 annual fee, is both a library card and a way to gain free admission to the Castle Museum and Yorkshire Museum among others.
Now the same piece of plastic waives admission charges at the Minster.
The cathedral introduced admission charges in 2003 when voluntary donations failed to cover its spending, but from the start exempted residents from the fees.
“York Minster used to have a Minster Card that local people could get for free access to the Minster,” a spokesman for the cathedral said.
“But as staff have prepared to enter the YorkCard scheme, they have been accepting proof of identify/ residency, so there has been free admission arrangements for York residents throughout.”
It is one of the first arrangements introduced by York Explore Libraries and Archives Mutual, the new body running York’s libraries.