York Minster

There are several instances of the involvement of SHOUTs with the fabric of York minster.

Robert Shout in association with William Ellis of Malton, John Rushworth of Beverly and John Watson of Holtroyd agreed with the Dean and Chapter on 17th November 1731, a contract to lay a new floor in the Choir and was largely finished by February 1733.

On 27th September 1734 Shout, Ellis and Samuel Ascough surveyed more work taking up and relaying the floor of the main aisle, which they subsequently completed. This is known as the Burlington Floor, named after its designer  Lord Burlington.

On 25th February 1735 Watson and Shout were paid £77.10.0 for laying the south Choir aisle and in July received £90.6.0 for laying its companion to the north. By 19th April 1736 which marked the completion of the repaving programme the workmen had received £1988.7.4 but they wrote detailing how they had made losses due to extra work and changes to the requirements amounting to £73.6.6.

Details of these works have been taken from “The Transformation of York Minster, 1726 – 42” by Terry Friedman in Architectural History 1995 Vol38 (pp69 – 90) available from the British Library

William Shout (1748 – 1826) was the surveyor for the refurbishment of the Minster between the years 1788 – 1826. In this role he was responsible for organising the materials and labour to carry out the work required. The PhD thesis by Alexander B Holden and day book mentioned on the Civil Engineers page make very interesting reading. The link for the thesis is http\\etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/1506 .  More details of William can be found on his page

Here is a link to an item in The Yorkshire Post  which describes some of the recent restoration work and mentions William.

In November 2017 I was fortunate to be able to visit the Minster as a guest of John David who is the current holder of the same position as William.  The main parts of the Minster were closed for a graduation ceremony for the local university but we were able to see some fascinating insights into the life and times of William. There are still many wooden templates produced by William to show the masons what was needed in the cutting and carving of the stone.

We visited The Mason’s Loft high in the chantry tower where a specially made plaster floor was used for marking out full size drawings of parts to be produced.

I also visited the Minster Archives, where William’s day book is held in the building that was restored by William from its ruinous state.


The statue of St Peter which is high on the East end of the Minster was recently replaced. The photos below show the stages from the state of the statue that was taken down, the model of its replacement and the final result back in position.