This film is part of Free

York Minster Fire

A devastating fire engulfs and destroys a significant section of York Minster in this poignant film from 1984.

News 1984 8 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This perturbing short film conscientiously captures the horrific fire that ripped through York Minster in 1984. Although silent, the film’s colour pictures speak louder than words from the beginning. The camera flits between ground and aerial shots throughout as firefighters slowly gain control and extinguish the fire1

The York Minster fire broke out in the early hours of 9th July 1984. It is thought that a lightning bolt was responsible for starting the fire that subsequently destroyed the south transept. Other possibilities such as arson and electrical faults have been discounted to a large extent. The fire caused £2.25 million worth of damage and it took 4 years to restore the building back to its former glory.