YORK Minster is the jewel in the city's crown, drawing more than 620,000 visitors per year.

It is the number-one-rated York attraction on Tripadvisor, with more than 11,500 of its almost 17,000 reviews rating it as 'excellent'.

But a very small minority of visitors - just 344 - give the attraction the thumbs down, leaving a one-star rating. One reviewer scathingly said they'd give the attraction zero stars, but Tripadvisor's scoring does not allow that.

We dipped into these reviews to see what irked visitors about York's gothic masterpiece.

Here's what we found:

Posting just this month, Cltotes of Solihull slammed the Minster for being "too expensive" and said their family of four "just looked at the outside".

The full post read: "We didn’t set foot in the place. Having been on a school trip to York Minster years ago, I was really looking forward to taking my boys. However, after finding it it was £18 per adult we just looked at the outside. We would have happily given a donation or even £12.50, which it was this time last year but £36 for a family of 4…. Too expensive in our opinion."

"Outraged" AileeLongnoUK of Terrington St John had this simple message: "Don't go there!"

The post read: "We were outraged at the entry fee demanded for what is a building part of our common heritage. Many churches and cathedrals are free but ask for a donation which is very acceptable. There is a museum in the Minster which could separately charge for entry. The last time we paid for entry for a church was the Vatican and even there St Peter’s is free. We are not religious but are very keen on medieval architecture the Minster in York is not worth the fee the stained glass is the major attraction. Don’t go there!"

York Press: A common complaint on Trip Advisor is that York Minster's admission charges for tourists are too high. What is your view?A common complaint on Trip Advisor is that York Minster's admission charges for tourists are too high. What is your view?

A trio of pensioners visiting this month grumbled about the price which would have been £54 for three adults as well as "rude" comments.

The post reads: "We visited York on a coach trip while staying in Harrogate. There was my wife, myself and a friend, all pensioners, and thought that the price of £18 per person, no savings for pensioners, was a bit steep although it probably would have been nice as it was one of the places we wanted to visit while in York. We decided to give it a miss as for all three of us it would have been £54. On leaving the lady seeing people in said ‘your not staying then?’ and explained the price was just to much for pensioners. Her reply of ‘well most pensioners can afford it’ shocked us. Where is she from? So rude.Can’t add photos as it was made quite clear you can’t take photos unless you pay."

Gazwhite2014 from Sidcup left a simple gripe: "Typical. Church ripping off people yet again."

Adding: "Should be ashamed of themselves.They claim to serve God but only line their pockets. Don’t give them any more money."

Mark j complained the price was a rip-off, adding: "I have been to a lot of churches, cathedrals across Europe and never been asked to pay. Don't bother."

This was a theme echoed elsewhere.

Anne K posted: "Since when did Jesus charge an admission fee to pray?" while another one-star reviewer posted: "Nice old building but shameful that a church is charging people to pray. Psalms 41.1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor #justnotYorkMinster #rip-off."

Nikki B of Aberdare, wrote: "The house of God turned into a cynical cash grab."

York Press: Spring at York Minster - York's popular visitor attraction, but some visitors say it is too expensive.Spring at York Minster - York's popular visitor attraction, but some visitors say it is too expensive.

Another reviewer posted: "An absolute scandal to commercialise a house of worship like this. There’s absolutely nothing to justify these ridiculous prices. The stained glass is pretty but once you’ve seen one stained glass window you’ve seen them all. The whole visit took about ten minutes. A complete waste of time and money. We should be making God’s house available to anyone who wishes to enter, not just those who can afford it. Shame on all of the so called Christians who implemented this tax on faith. Do yourself a favour and visit one of the smaller churches instead - where you’ll be welcomed as a fellow worshipper and not a paying punter. Only giving one star because Tripadvisor doesn’t allow zero."

Nigel b of Winchester was unhappy with organisation at the attraction and posted: "Incredibly poor organization. We joined the queue (extremely warm day) and waited, no problem as we expected to queue. After 20 mins we finally got ushered inside the main doors to another queue. Still not a problem. Now the fun started! firstly the entrance fee is £16 each, very expensive and it was "card only" payment, again not an issue. The issue which we found unacceptable was the lady dealing with ticket issuing was taking on average 5 mins per transaction. we calculated we had another 15 mins queuing, at which point we decided "no thanks" and left. In the days of contactless payment I do not understand such inefficiency."

NZ-nick of Weston super Mare, complained about admission prices again: "Can’t believe they charge people to go into the house of God. The builders of the church would be turning in their graves if they knew that it had turned into a theme park. The Church of England has £8.7 BILLION in the bank. It does not need to charge! DISGUSTING."

Gill B of Sale encountered another issue - when the Minster was closed for TV filming. "Would loved to have been able to visit but unfortunately, not being involved with Netflix and their programme The Crown, the Minster was closed the entire time we were visiting York."

York Press: Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II spotted outside York Minster during filming of Netflix's The Crown. Image: Haydn LewisImelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II spotted outside York Minster during filming of Netflix's The Crown. Image: Haydn Lewis

While most of the one-star reviews come from visitors unhappy to either pay to enter York Minster or believe the admission charge is too high, the attraction remains free for York residents, students of the University of York students and York St John University on presentation of proof of address (such as a York Card or utility bill) or university ID.

The Minster introduced admission charges for non-York visitors in 2003.

The decision came after a voluntary donations scheme launched in 2002 failed to bring in enough cash with fewer than a quarter of visitors forking out in response to appeals for donations of £3.50 per adult. At the same time, the number of overseas visitors had fallen in the wake of the Iraq war.

In 2003 an admission charge of £4.50 was introduced.

Today, that charge is £18 for an adults, £16 for students, while children under 17 are free.

A spokesperson for York Minster told The Press: "York Minster is one of Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best 2023 locations and is ranked first out 346 things to do in York.

"With 14,972 reviews in the ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ category out of a total of 16,809 we are incredibly grateful to everyone who makes the journey to visit the Minster and are proud to provide an outstanding visitor experience.

"Many visitors are probably not aware that York Minster – like all English cathedrals – receives virtually no public funding and is entirely responsible for generating its own income. It currently costs around £30,000 per day for the upkeep and maintenance of the cathedral and each ticket sale makes a vital contribution to the life of the Minster including services and worship, sightseeing visitors, conservation, restoration, exhibitions and pilgrimage visits. We are grateful to every person who buys a ticket and contributes to supporting York Minster.

"An adult paying £18 to visit the Minster can bring up to four children aged 17 and under for free – good value for money compared to many other attractions. Our admission is valid for unlimited re-entry over 12 months and is free to local York residents and students. It includes access to our museum gallery, crypt, temporary exhibitions and frequent guided tours.

"As a place of worship, we never turn away or charge anyone who wishes to come inside the Minster to attend a service, for reflection or to pray."

What is your view? Email - letters@thepress.co.uk