York rivals Cologne Cathedral in size. The large square crossing tower (Central Tower) was rebuilt, beginning in 1407, in the Perpendicular style.
The present church was begun with the south transept built by Archbishop Walter de Grey (1216-1255), whose tomb is in its eastern aisle. In a building campaign lasting until the 15th century, the main patrons continued to be the archbishops and senior clergy. The Minster, which measures 148 m externally and 70 m across the transept, is built of local limestone, and the vaulting throughout is of wood. York Minster is the second largest Gothic cathedral of Northern Europe and clearly charts the development of English Gothic architecture from Early English through to the Perpendicular Period. The Chapter House dates from 1260-1296. The Minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England.