York, England – Chapter 80

We completed our Coast to Coast hike and took a train to York, England. We visit the Railway Museum, York Minster, and the Castle Museum.

The Railway Museum contains engines and cars from all eras.

The York Minster is the largest medieval, Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. The history of the site dates back 2000 years and the current building is about 800 years old.

The Roman Emperor Constantine was proclaimed emperor on this site in 306.He is credited with converting the Empire to Christianity.


I read Chapter 80 of the Tao te Ching, translated by Steven Mitchell.

“If a country is governed wisely,
its inhabitants will be content.”

Chapter House

Great West Window

Karen looks at the seating situation.

I seek the place with sanctity but this is a very public domain. We go to a lower level.

We see the tomb of St. William of York. He was a pilgrim who believed in peace. Prayers to him have resulted in miracles.

William of York, patron saint of York, was archbishop from 1141-1154. In 1153, when William was returning to York from Rome, a large crowd greeted him on the Ouse Bridge.  So many people were crowded on the bridge that the structure collapsed.  William stopped and called on God to save those drowning.  Miraculously, no one was hurt. The miracle at Ouse Bridge, and many later miracles, led to his canonization. Although his tomb became a pilgrimage site, he was a somewhat minor saint.

The Doomstone is a survival of the first Roman Minster. It shows lost souls in hell.


The bottom photo shows the circular “Rose Window.”

We visit the Castle Museum, a collection of artifacts from many eras, collected in the early 1900s.

“They enjoy the labor of their hands
and don’t waste time inventing
labor-saving machines.”



“Since they dearly love their homes,
they aren’t interested in travel.”

Although the Tao te Ching portrays less technological societies as bucolic, the museum exhibits suggest something different.

A form of public punishment – other forms include torture and execution.

“There may be a few wagons and boats,
but these don’t go anywhere.”

Plagues created a need for coffins.

“There may be an arsenal of weapons,
but nobody ever uses them.”

“People enjoy their food,
take pleasure in being with their families,
spend weekends working in their gardens,
delight in the doings of the neighborhood.”

“And even though the next country is so close
that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking,
they are content to die of old age
without ever having gone to see it.”

Karen watches a projected movie of a woman describing her life in prison. She became a thief because her husband failed to support her. The castle served as a prison over many centuries and was the site of many famous executions.

A final section of the museum focused on World War I.

A German machine gun.

Percentage of forces killed – British Empire (10% died in combat and another 10% died from other causes, such as disease)

The exhibit provide a chalk board that allowed people to provide reactions.

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