When as a youthful undergraduate your author struggled with a taxing piece of work or needed inspiration for a difficult essay, the best solution always seemed to be to go for a wander around York Minster. For even the most cynical visitor would fail to find the Minster interesting, dominating the skyline of the historic city of York, and though your author is Godless the fact that nearly a thousand years ago people could manage to build such a huge and beautiful place for someone or something they had never seen and couldn't be sure existed helped to see that the minor trials of higher education could easily be overcome.
Begun in the 11th century on the site of a church that had first been constructed in wood around 627AD to baptise King Edwin of Northumbria, the Minster wasn't officially deemed complete until 1472, when it was formally consecrated. Since then, it has survived a siege of York during the Civil War, an attack by the Non-Conformist arsonist, Jonathan Martin, in 1829 and a fire in the 1980s after it was struck by lightning. It remains as inspiring as it always has been.
For more, see http://www.yorkminster.org
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