Chapter House, York Minster.
Just beyond the north transept a gothic vestibule leads to a Gothic jewel, York's octagonal Chapter House. A masterpiece in masonry, stained glass, and unseen wood, the Chapter House architecture reflects the collegial design of its intent: Chapters evolved from the democratic governance of monasteries. Monastic assemblies were called chapters and met in chapter houses. Over time, the term was applied to other groups of ecclesiastical support personnel, including, in York's case, the canons -- clerics who supported (but were somewhat independent of) the archbishop.
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