St. Nicholas

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 St. Nicholas in York Minster Stained Glass

York Minster has one of the single largest collections, more than 100 windows, of medieval stained glass in Europe. This glass represents the best from the late twelfth century until the end of the 1500s. A number of panels represent the life and miracles of St. Nicholas of Myra, perhaps the most popular saint during the middle ages.

This window, one of the best preserved 12th century panels, represents the story of the dishonest borrower; glass originally from Église Saint-Nicolas, Rouen, France, destroyed in 1840. It is the best-known of the Nicholas glass in York Minster.

Horse and cart with run-over man
South Transcept (S27), ca. 1180
Photo: © Gordon Plumb

The life of St. Nicholas of Myra is featured in Archbishop Greenfield's window dedicated to St. Nicholas. Panels in two rows show episodes from the life of St. Nicholas. The Archbishop was buried in St Nicholas' Chapel in 1315.


South Aisle (s29), top row
Resusitating students
South Aisle (s29), bottom row

The window on the left, below, is in the St. Nicholas Chapel.
The glass in the center panel is originally from St Johns Ouse Bridge; the top portion shows St. Nicholas with three boys, along with two heads (lower portion is from St George & the dragon).
Right, Nicholas is one of three bishops in the Wolvenden window (ca. 1420) in the choir.

Standing bishop
St Nicholas Chapel, North Transcept (n11), 15th century
Nichols with tub
North Transcept (n20)
Photo: © Gordon Plumb
Standing bishop
Choir (n8)

Three panels, shown below, are beneath the bishop, right above. They illustrate three Nicholas stories: a steward putting gold in bags for the dowry money, the cart running over the dishonest borrower, and the three boys resusitated in the tub.

Steward pouring money
Choir (n8)
Cart over dishonest borrower
Choir (n8)
Nicholas with boys in tub
Choir (n8)

Below, Chapter House window commemorates five saints, each in a light. 
St Nicholas scenes: Reviving boys in tub; Dowry story; Calming the sea; Death of Nicholas.

Boys in tub
Chapter House (CHs4)
Photo: © Gordon Plumb
Giving dowry gold
Chapter House (CHs4)
With men in boat
Chapter House (CHs4)
Photo: © Gordon Plumb
Death of Nicholas
Chapter House (CHs4)
Photo: © Gordon Plumb

Windows are identified by the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi numbering system.

Photos: C Myers, St Nicholas Center, unless otherwise noted
Photos: © Gordon Plumb, Flickr. Used by permission.

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