Posted 7 years ago
Beyond the 13th century wooden doors and the 'trumeau' with an image of the standing Virgin and Child is an octagonal space that is used as the Admin Centre of the Minster. A chapter house or chapterhouse is a building or room that is part of a cathedral, monastery or collegiate church in which larger meetings are held.
The Chapter House was completed by 1286. It is a fine example of the Gothic Decorated Style then in vogue. The octagonal shape of the building allowed for spectacular displays of stained glass, now mostly lost in other examples, though not at York.
You enter into a circular space ringed with low stalls, above which soar traceried stained glass windows that rival the famous 5 Sisters for delicacy and lightness.
"The windows lead your eye upwards, where far above your head the marvelous ribbed vault of the ceiling is enough to make even the most footsore of tourists gasp.
The ribbed wooden roof is truly a masterpiece of medieval architecture, with colourfully painted panels and a profusion of gilded bosses. Unlike other chapter houses, such as that of Wells Cathedral, there is no central column to support the roof vaulting; the ceiling is "free standing" if you will, seeming almost to hang in space.
The stalls which line the chapter house are topped with a wonderful profusion of gargoyles - some humourous, some depicting souls in torment."
This is a Frith Series postcards numbered 18427.