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Howden Minster

This beautiful minster can be found in the East Riding of Yorkshire market ¬†town of Howden. A church has stood on this site since Saxon times, when it was owned by the monks of Peterborough Abbey. The church was gifted to to the Bishop of Durham in 1080 shortly after the Norman invasion, but attempts over a long period of time, over one hundred years, to set up a monastery around the church seem to have failed, and in 1267 the church was made ‘collegiate’, that is run by Canons who did not belong to any specific religious order, similar in fact to Beverley Minster.

Building of the current church began in 1270 with ‘Early English” style and by 1311 to west end was completed in ‘Decorative ‘ style. Between 1320 and 1340 the new aisled chancel was built, with the chapter house and tower being the last to be completed.

Although the church survived the dissolution of the monasteries, it fell victim to the dissolution of collegiate churches in 1550. The lands and wealth from the church went to the crown, and both the town and church fell into decline. The cost of maintaining the church fell on the parishioners who were obliged to allow the chancel to become derelict and in 1696 the great stone vaulted roof of the chancel collapsed, with the chapter house roof following in 1750. The ruinous part of Howden Minster is now in the care of English Heritage.