A “DOME of Discovery” providing a new slant on York Minster’s history has helped boost its visitor numbers.

The Orb features five restored panels from the Minster’s Great East Window, allowing people to see the medieval works of art up close before they are put back in place in 2015.

The metallic dome contributed to a 21 per cent year-on-year increase in leisure visitors to the Minster during the last three months of 2012.

Nicola Bexon, Minster director of marketing, said: “We were quietly confident the Orb would be well received, but these figures really do exceed our expectations.

“2012 was a tough year for tourism business, but the opening of the Orb at a traditionally quieter time of year has given us a huge boost, with leisure visitor figures in November alone up 44 per cent on the previous year.”

She said the Minster team was “very excited” about the unveiling of a new visitor attraction being built in the undercroft, set to open in early summer.

“Even historic buildings which are world-renowned for their architecture cannot afford to stand still, so we are delighted we’ve been able to continually develop and improve our visitor offering without ever compromising our core mission – to be a living, breathing church at the heart of York,” she said.

The Minster will launch new musical initiatives and seasons this year, including the Festival of Passions from March 9 to 24.