TWELVE security blocks are to be installed at the front of York Minster to tackle the terrorist threat.

Work on installing the protective barrier will start this week.

A spokeswoman said the decision to strengthen security at the front of the Minster was taken by the Chapter of York, the cathedral’s governing body, following recommendations from the Counter Terrorism Unit.

The Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull, said: “The national terror threat level has been at “severe" for many months and is likely to remain so for some time to come.

"Some experts within the UK’s security community believe that we are facing a generational problem which may last for 20 or 30 years.

“The appalling attacks in Manchester and London earlier this year have required all those responsible for the security of nationally important buildings, monuments and public spaces to reassess, review and constantly refine their arrangements for keeping people safe.

“Chapter has been concerned about the potential vulnerability of the area around the Minster’s West End for some time.

"The clear recommendation from the Counter Terrorism Unit required us to take urgent and decisive action to protect the area. The protective barrier will provide a physical defence and will be a visible deterrent at the front of the Minster.

“We have a clear duty of care to everyone who visits York Minster and we will do everything we can to ensure that our worshippers and visitors feel safe and secure when they are here.”

The spokeswoman said that, approved by the Home Office and tested by the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), the 12 blocks would form a substantial barrier.

New flag stones would be cut and set around the edges of each block and no archaeology would be disturbed by the installation, she said.

"The blocks are already in use at a number of high profile locations around the country including the Tower of London.

"The security barrier is a temporary measure: the blocks can and will be removed if the security situation improves in the future."