BBC History Magazine - - Out & About / History Explorer -

1 York Min­ster YORK Where the UK’s largest ex­panse of medieval glass can be seen

York Min­ster’s roots date back to the sev­enth cen­tury when the first church is recorded on the site. To­day it’s the sec­ond-largest Gothic cathe­dral in north­ern Europe and home to the largest ex­panse of medieval stained glass in Bri­tain, in­clud­ing the 600-year- old East Win­dow – the size of a ten­nis court. york­min­

2 St Mag­nus Cathe­dral KIRKWALL, ORKNEY IS­LANDS Where Bri­tain’s most northerly cathe­dral stands

Work on the cathe­dral be­gan in 1137 and was ded­i­cated to Mag­nus Er­lends­son, Earl of Orkney, who was mur­dered on the or­ders of his cousin Hakon, co-ruler of the Orkney Is­lands, in c1115. Un­like most Bri­tish cathe­drals, it uses coloured stone to form pat­terns in its stonework, and is also the only UK cathe­dral to have its own dun­geon, Mar­wick’s Hole. st­mag­

3 Lin­coln Cathe­dral LIN­COLNSHIRE Where you can visit what was once the world’s tallest build­ing

For 238 years – be­tween 1311 and 1549 – Lin­coln Cathe­dral was the tallest build­ing in the world, thanks to its huge cen­tral spire, which col­lapsed in 1549. The cathe­dral was com­mis­sioned by Wil­liam the Con­queror af­ter the bat­tle of Hast­ings, and con­se­crated in 1092. It owns one of only four sur­viv­ing copies of Magna Carta, sealed in 1215. lin­col­ncathe­

4 St Al­bans Cathe­dral HERT­FORD­SHIRE Where Bri­tain’s first saint is buried

The old­est site of con­tin­u­ous Chris­tian wor­ship in Bri­tain, St Al­bans Cathe­dral was built over the burial site of Al­ban, Bri­tain’s first mar­tyr. A monastery was sup­pos­edly founded at the site in AD 793, but the abbey church was re­built in the Nor­man style in the 11th cen­tury and much of its cur­rent ar­chi­tec­ture dates from this pe­riod. The shrine of St Al­ban was de­stroyed dur­ing the Dis­so­lu­tion but was re­dis­cov­ered and re­built in the 19th cen­tury. stal­ban­scathe­

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