Fact of the day: 20th May

On this day in 1840 York Minster was badly damaged by fire.

York Minster is a cathedral in York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe.

The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the cathedral for the Diocese of York.

It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The formal title of York Minster is “The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York”.

The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title.

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Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

An accidental fire in 1840 left the nave, south west tower and south aisle roofless and blackened shells.

The cathedral slumped deeply into debt and in the 1850s services were suspended. From 1858 Augustus Duncome worked successfully to revive the cathedral.

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