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York Minster is one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals. Since the 7th century, the Minster has been at the centre of Christianity in the north of England. It is also the largest medieval Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe: York Minster is over 500ft (152m) long and 100ft (30m) wide, and has some of the oldest and finest stained glass in the country. The city’s first church was thought to have been built on the same site in the 7th century, while the heart of the ancient Roman fortress also lies beneath the Minster, remnants of which be glimpsed by delving into the bowels of the cathedral. The classic Gothic style was cutting-edge at the time of construction (between 1220 and 1472), and the masons weren’t sure of the load-bearing capacity of the pillars, so they built the impressive vaults in wood (an early example of no-nonsense Yorkshire practicality). Today’s restoration efforts use limestone from the same quarry as the original.