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5 weird and wonderful things to see in York Minster

PUBLISHED: 14:23 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:25 13 October 2016

A series of 'Grotesque

A series of 'Grotesque" carvings with Medeival ailment theme.


York Minster is full of hidden secrets and rich history, we uncover a few.

Headless Semaphore Saints Headless Semaphore Saints" are sending a secret message

Headless Saints

The Semaphore Saints created by artist Terry Hammill who donated the work to the minster in 2004. The headless saints are signaling with halos each representing a letter in the semaphore alphabet. The message reads ‘Christ is here’.

Heart of Yorkshire in The Great West Window. Heart of Yorkshire in The Great West Window.

The Heart of Yorkshire

Just above the saints is heart shaped stone work surrounding a stained glass window which has become known as the Heart of Yorkshire.

The lower part of the Great West Window includes a number of Archbishops of York, Apostles and scenes depicting the life of Christ and the Virgin.

The recently restored Great East Window The recently restored Great East Window

The end of the world?

The 600-year-old Great East Window, was recently restored, and is believed to be the biggest of its kind with 311 individual and unique panels. Of its 108 major panels, 81 illustrate scenes from the last book of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) and which describes, sometimes in graphic detail, the end of the world.

Is this King Richard wrestling a lion? Is this King Richard wrestling a lion?

A sheep with claws or a lion?

While you’re in the Chapter House, look for the stone image of a crazy looking man wrestling a sheep with claws. It could be King Richard getting to grips with a lion but the sculptor had never seen a lion so added the claws to a snarling sheep to complete his work.

A series of 'Grotesque A series of 'Grotesque" carvings with Medeival ailment theme,at the base of the south east pinnacle.

Rude sculptures

A series of ‘Grotesque” carvings with Medeival ailment theme can be found at the base of the south east pinnacle. A cheeky chappie exposing his back side to another man picking his nose mean these carvings live up the the grotesque label in every sense of the word.

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