York Minster is up for sale. (Well, bits of it)

A craftsman at work in the Minster stoneyard. Photograph: Kippa Matthews for York Minster on flickr
30 Jul 2013 @ 2.57 pm
| History, Shopping
A craftsman at work in the Minster stoneyard. Photograph: Kippa Matthews for York Minster on flickr
A craftsman at work in the Minster stoneyard. Photograph: Kippa Matthews for York Minster on flickr

If you’ve ever gazed at York Minster and thought: “I fancy a piece of that,” we’ve some good news for you.

Chunks of the great church are to be sold at the annual stone auction on Friday, August 16.

To be clear, you can’t simply point at a gargoyle, or a neat bit of buttressing, and say to the nearest canon: “I’ll give you twenty quid.” Any stuff still attached to the Minster fabric is not up for sale.

Instead it is stone removed from the Gothic masterpiece during restoration which goes under the hammer. Anyone buying a piece is also supporting the ongoing conservation work at the Minster.

A week earlier on Friday, August 9, visitors can find out more about the work of the Minster’s masons, carvers and carpenters at the stoneyard open day.

Visitors can meet the specialist craftspeople, visit the on-site workshop, take a guided tour of special areas or buy a ticket to tour the East Front and see the restoration work currently underway.

“The stone auction offers people a unique chance to own their own piece of the Minster,” said John David, master mason at York Minster.

“The stones on sale have all been removed from the Minster during restoration projects, when stones which have decayed or are structurally unsound need to be replaced.

“Complete stones removed during these works are recorded in the Minster’s archive records, with a large number of pieces retained by the Minster due to their significance in the archaeological history of the building.

“We can’t store every stone removed from the building, so the surplus will go on sale at the auction to help raise funds to support ongoing conservation works on the Minster.”

 


  • The annual stone auction takes place on Friday, August at 12 noon in Dean’s Park, behind York Minster
  • Previews of the stones included in the auction will take place on Thursday, August 15 from 2pm to 4pm, and Friday, August 16 from 10am to 12 noon
  • The Stoneyard open day takes place on Friday, August 9, from 9.30am to 3pm at the Stoneyard, 4 Deangate. Admission is free but donations to York Minster Fund are invited
  • Tickets need to be purchased for the East Front tours, which can be bought in advance or on the day through the York Minster box office