Foliate Heads at York Minster

York Minster is the largest gothic styled cathedral in Northern Europe and easily one of the world’s most impressive. From the intricate gothic carvings of the Chapter House to one of the world’s best feats of stained glass (including the panel containing the wonderfully named Monkey Funeral), any visit to York Minster demands several hours. The construction of the York Minster you see today began in 1220, and continued for around 250 years.

York Minster External View

York Minster towards main entrance

York Minster's Advent Wheel

York Minster's Advent Wheel

The Minster has a slightly bigger budget than Blue Peter for their Advent Wheel, I would guess that the one above is a tad more substantial than two wire coat hangers and some tinsel.  The people at the bottom give you a sense of scale for the building.  Don’t worry, we haven’t suddenly converted; we visited it as a place of peace and spirituallity (and incredible architecture), not as a religious experience.  Just because it’s not a building associated with my faith and spirituallity doesn’t mean it’s not totally awesome.  (Tiro: Note to self: find pagan architects) There’s an excellent site on the Minster to be found here. On our trundlings, we espied several Green Man carvings in the stone work.

Foliate Heads at York Minster

Foliate Heads at York Minster

It’s not uncommon and they tend to appear in churches and cathederals all over the country, the BBC has a short but perfectly formed discussion here.  York Minster itself is well worth a visit if you’re ever up that way, try and take one of the free tours-with-knowledgeable-local-guide which depart every now and again from the information desk.  Pictures on the heads found inside the Minster can be found here (as a reproduction carving in the Minster shop) and here.

If you’d happen to like a Green Man in your life, then this and this are good websites for them.

If you’ve spotted one on your travels inside a church, Minster or cathederal (and thankfully they are legion…) then drop us a comment with a picture 🙂


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