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THE CATHEDRAL LANDSCAPE OF YORK The Minster Close c. 1500-1642

Merlo Perring, Stefania (2010) THE CATHEDRAL LANDSCAPE OF YORK The Minster Close c. 1500-1642. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This thesis is an interdisciplinary study of the York Minster Close between c.1500 and 1642. It seeks to develop a contextual understanding of the topographical and morphological development of York cathedral Close between the late fifteenth and the mid seventeenth century. The cathedral settlement represented a rare concentration of economic, temporal and spiritual power within medieval society. This study aims to establish the impact on the cathedral landscape of contemporary social, political and religious changes, including the Reformation. It explores the growing tensions between the Archbishop and Dean and Chapter and between the cathedral and the city. It also tries to understand how the heterogeneous communities who inhabited and frequented the Close were connected to ideas of landscape and environment. Finally it is concerned with the Close as an urban space and it will question how processes of urban change, such as decay and improvement, affected it. Although the sources used for investigating the material culture of the Close are in great part documentary, the theoretical approach taken is drawn from post-processualist archaeology, interpretative anthropology and new history. The overall aim is to provide a narrative as a “thick description”, moving through the different cultural layers that composed this landscape. York escaped large-scale institutional change, but the concepts of ‘sacred space’ which had so dominated its medieval character, was transformed. Outward conformity masked the deliberate concealment of precious objects such as St. William’s shrine, whilst liturgy and literacy became closely entwined with the growth of the print and bookselling trades around the Minster. The presence of the Council of the North enhanced the role of the ecclesiastical and civil courts. New communities of lawyers, shopkeepers and tradesmen appropriated, subdivided and sub-let the Close buildings and the later sixteenth and early seventeenth century were characterised by a period of large-scale investment and modernisation of medieval mansions, including Sir Arthur Ingram’s conversion of the former Archiepiscopal Palace to an urban residence and gardens.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Medieval Studies (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.759867
Depositing User: Dr Stefania Merlo Perring
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2018 16:47
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2020 13:03
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22283

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