There is an old saying in England: "Ne're cast a clout till May is out". The word "clout" is a 15th century word for warm clothes. The saying means, "Never put away your warm clothes until the end of May". Why do we always have to learn things the hard way?
If you walk the perimeter of the wall it is 3 miles around. The first wall was put up by the Romans to keep out the Scots. When the Vikings came along they buried the original wall and built a tall fence of pointed wooden spikes. That wall was there until it was replaced in the 13th and 14th centuries with the stone wall that remains there today. It is so neat to see these things and imagine life back then. There are four gates into the city, north, south, east and west. However, each entrance comprises of two gates close together. They would open one, allow people in, then close it behind them and trap the people between the two gates. If the people were enemies the guards would go up on top of the wall and throw rocks at them from above. If they really wanted to make them suffer they would then pour barrels of boiling urine on their heads. This is how the term "adding insult to injury" came about. They were injured by the rocks and then insulted by the urine. It was human urine though. The animal urine was saved for tanning leather. They would put a hide in a barrel, pour boiling animal urine and oak bark in there and then young boys would have to get in there standing up to their armpits and stomp on it all day, to tan the hide. Life must have been so hard then.
The weather was pretty cold out so we decided we'd better get over to the Minster before it got too late. The York Minster is the largest medieval gothic castle in Norther Europe. I found it interesting that not all cathedrals are minsters, not all minsters are cathedrals, but York Minster is both.
Cathedral or cathedra means "seat". It is where the bishop has his seat, which is only found in a cathedral. A mynster was the Anglo-Saxon name for a missionary church - a church built as a new center for Christian worship. The Minster in York was first built in 627 AD for King Edwin's baptism as stated in the timeline above.
THE WALL OF KINGS DEPICTS THE 15 KINGS WHO REIGNED THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE BUILDING ON THE PRESENT SITE. STARTING WITH WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR ON THE LEFT AND HENRY VI ON THE RIGHT.
It is estimated that half the medieval stained glass in England lines the walls. The Great East Window depicts the beginning and end of the world in over 100 scenes. There was so much stained glass and the place was huge. Joe decided to walk the 275 steps to the top of the tower for a view and pictures of the city below. No building in York is allowed to be taller than the Minster. So I sent him off - you didn't think I was going to go did you? It was COLD up there and I needed to be able to walk home! Of course he said it wasn't that bad, which he always does. He got some pictures too.
We had a nice anniversary dinner in a little Italian Restaurant and then walked home. By then it was very cold and rainy and we just wanted to be warm! I had such a cramp in my thigh that I had to hold onto Joe the rest of the way home. Oh, it was so COLD and my legs hurt!