Meet the Ancestors - Row 1 panels on display in York Minster

14th April 2015

This summer the great task of returning John Thornton's stained glass Apocalypse to the Great East Window of York Minster will begin. Ninety panels of stained glass, meticulously conserved by the York Glazier Trust as part of the HLF-funded project York Minster Revealed, will once again illuminate the quire. Before they too return to their rightful place, five panels from the base of the window, depicting the donor, Bishop Walter Skirlaw of Durham (d. 1406) and some of the historical figures - Kings, archbishops and popes - who flank him, will be on display at ground level in the Orb, allowing visitors to see at close quarters some of the finest glass-painting in the whole window. Drawing on recently composed chronicle sources and much older histories, especially Bede's famous Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the designers of the Great East Window offered a carefully edited version of English history from pre-Roman times, that stressed York Minster's place in the history of universal salvation and its importance in the evangelization of the north. Legendary figures such as the British King Lucius, founder of the first church in York, mingle with real figures from English medieval history, including King Edward the Confessor (illustrated) and Edward III, married in the Minster in 1328. To the right of Skirlaw sit some of the key ecclesiastical figures from this illustrious history, including St William of York (d.1154), enshrined nearby.

The new display will open on April 1st and run until the end of May.

The central panel in the row (and in the exhibition!) depicts the donor Bishop Skirlaw - this can be seen on our Panel of the Month page.

  • 1d AC
  • 1j AC