The Info List - Beverley Minster

Coordinates: 53°50′21″N 0°25′29″W / 53.83917°N 0.42472°W / 53.83917; -0.42472 Beverley
Minster in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, is a parish church in the Church of England. It is one of the largest parish churches in the UK, larger than one-third of all English cathedrals and regarded as a gothic masterpiece by many. Originally a collegiate church, it was not selected as a bishop's seat during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; nevertheless, it survived as a parish church and the chapter house was the only major part of the building to be lost. It is part of the Greater Churches Group
Greater Churches Group
and a Grade I listed building.[1] Every year it hosts events in association with local schools, including the Beverley
Minster Primary School Nativity Performance and the Beverley
Grammar School Speech Night.[not verified in body]


1 History 2 Bells 3 Other burials 4 Features 5 Organ

5.1 Organists 5.2 Assistant organists 5.3 Organ scholars

6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] The minster owes its origin and much of its subsequent importance to Saint John of Beverley, who founded a monastery locally around 700 AD and whose bones still lie beneath a plaque in the nave. The institution grew after his death and underwent several rebuildings. In 1067/68 Gamel, Sheriff of York
Gamel, Sheriff of York
was informed in a writ by William the Conqueror that

Archbishop Ealdred should draw up a privilegium for the lands belonging to the church of St John of Beverley
John of Beverley
and that they shall be free from the demands of the king, his reeves, and all his men, except for those of the archbishop and priests of the church.

After a serious fire in 1188, the subsequent reconstruction was overambitious; the newly heightened central tower collapsed c. 1219 bringing down much of the surrounding church. The subsequent rebuild may have taken at least another 20 years. Henry III granted oaks from Sherwood in 1253, and the high altar was dedicated in 1261. It took 200 years to complete building work but, despite the time scale involved, the whole building has coherent form and detail and is regarded by Thomas Rickman
Thomas Rickman
as one of the finest examples of Early English design.[2] The twin towers of the west front are a superlative example of the Perpendicular
style. These formed the inspiration for the present west towers of Westminster Abbey, designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Saint Thomas Becket
Thomas Becket
of Canterbury, (c. 1118–29 December 1170) was named Provost of Beverley
in 1154. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland
Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland
(1449–1489), was buried in the church after being murdered by his own retainers at Cockslodge near Thirsk, in 1489 during the Yorkshire rebellion over high taxes imposed by King Henry VII. As with many English churches during the wars of religion in the 16th century, Beverley
Minster was not immune to dissension. Church authorities cracked down hard on those they felt were part of the "Popish" conspiracy contrary to Royal decrees. "Among those holding traditional beliefs were three of the clergy at the minster, who were charged with Popish practices in 1567; John Levet was a former member of the college and Richard Levet was presumably his brother. Both Levetts were suspended from the priesthood for keeping prohibited equipment and books and when restored were ordered not to minister in Beverley
or its neighbourhood."[3][4] In the 18th century the present central tower replaced an original lantern tower that was in danger of collapse. This central tower now houses the largest surviving treadwheel crane in England, which used to be used when raising building materials to a workshop located in the roof. A distinctive feature of both the north and south transepts is the presence of wheel windows, with ten equal parts. Tours to the roof space to see the crane and rose windows are available to the general public, subject to other church commitments. Bells[edit] Both west towers contain bells. In the south-west tower contains a non-swinging bourdon bell called Great John. It chimes the hour and it dates from 1901. It weighs over 7 tons and it is over 7 feet in diameter. despite its name, it is not dedicated to Saint John of Beverley. It reads, “I am called the great bell of Saint John the Evangelist 1901”. Records show that the Minster possessed two bells in 1050. Four bells were installed in 1366, three of which having been recast and are still used in the Minster. The chimes for each quarter are rung on the 10 bells in the north-west tower and the melody was composed by organist John Camidge. There have been two major overhauls of the bells, one in 1896 and the other in 1901 by Taylor of Loughborough.

The West Towers

Other burials[edit]

John of Beverley, (died 7 May 721). Eleanor, Lady Percy, 1328. Idonea de Clifford, 1365. George Percy, a priest, 1474. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland Maud Herbert, wife of 4th Earl of Northumberland, 1485/1495. Henry Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, 1527. Catherine Spencer, wife of 5th Earl, 1542.


Rose window


Feast of Fools, Carving in Beverley
Minster (p.62, January 1824)[5]

Features of the interior include shafts of Purbeck Marble, stiff-leaf carving and the tomb of Lady Eleanor Percy, dating from around 1340 and covered with a richly decorated canopy, regarded by F. H. Crossley as one of the best surviving examples of Gothic art.[6] A total of 68 16th-century misericords are located in the quire of the minster, and nearby is a sanctuary or frith stool dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. The misericords were probably carved by the so-called 'Ripon school' of carvers and bear a strong family resemblance to those at Manchester Cathedral and Ripon Cathedral. The church contains one of the few remaining Frith Stools (also known as Frid Stools, meaning "peace chairs") in England. Anyone wanting to claim sanctuary from the law would sit in the chair. The chair dates from Saxon times before 1066.[7][8][9][10] The organ is mounted above a richly carved wooden screen dating from 1877–1880, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and carved by James Elwell of Beverley. There is a staircase in the north aisle which was used in collegiate times to gain access to the chapter house, since demolished. Improvements to the choir were made during the 16th and 18th centuries, and medieval glass, which was shattered by a storm in 1608, was meticulously collected and installed in the east window in 1725. The Thornton family, great craftsmen of the early 18th century, were responsible for the font cover and the west door, and also for saving the church from being completely ruined by the fall of the north wall of the north transept between 1718 and 1731. Another notable feature is the series of carvings of musicians which adorn the nave, which date to the second quarter of the 14th century. Location sequences for the film Lease of Life
Lease of Life
(1954), two TV series of Victoria in 2016-7 and the BBC dramas King Charles III and Gunpowder in 2017 were filmed in Beverley
Minster. Organ[edit]

The Snetzler organ case from 1769

There is a large, chestnut-coloured organ with bright golden pipes, designed by Dr Arthur Hill in 1916. It houses an original manual from the organ built by John Snetzler
John Snetzler
in 1769, which has been increased to 4 manuals since. There have been subsequent rebuilds and restoration by William Hill & Sons in 1884, and by Hill, Norman and Beard in 1962–63. The specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.[11] Organists[edit]

Matthias Hawdon, 1769–76 George Lambert, 1777–1818[12] G. J. Lambert, 1818–74[12] (son of George Lambert) Langdon Colborne, 1874–75 (formerly organist of St. Michael's College, Tenbury, afterwards organist of Wigan
parish church) Arthur Henry Mann, 1875–76 (afterwards organist and director of music at King's College, Cambridge) John Henry Norrison Camidge, 1876–1933 Herbert Kennedy Andrews, 1934–38 John Herbert Long, 1938–56 (formerly organist of St Peter's Church, Brighton) David Ingate, 1956–61 (also music teacher at Beverley
Grammar School, and formerly organist at All Saint's Parish Church, High Wycombe) Peter Fletcher, 1961–66 Alan Spedding, 1967–March 2009 (formerly organist of Kingston upon Thames parish church)[13] Robert Poyser, 2009–- [13]

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Assistant organists[edit]

Gordon Reynolds, 1939–42 (later organist of St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London) Wallace Michael Ross, 1948–50 James Archer Geoffrey Pearce, 1967–69 (later Organist
& Master of the Choristers at St Andrew's Cathedral, Aberdeen, Selby Abbey
Selby Abbey
and Bridlington Priory) Andrew Dibb, 1990–93 Simon Taranczuk, 1993–96 Colin Wright, 1996–2010 Ian Seddon, from September 2013[14]

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. Organ scholars[edit]

James Longden, from September 2011 Dominic Joyce, from September 2016

See also[edit]

Provost of Beverley
Minster Grade I listed churches in the East Riding of Yorkshire

Anglicanism portal Yorkshire portal


^ Historic England. "The Minster Church of St John (1084028)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 July 2014.  ^ Rickman, Thomas; Parker, John Henry (1862). An attempt to discriminate the styles of English architecture, from the conquest to the reformation (6th ed.). London: John Henry and James Parker. p. 384. Retrieved 28 October 2016.  ^ "The sixteenth century: Religious Life". A History of the County of York, East Riding. British History Online. Retrieved 26 March 2008.  ^ Phillips, John Richard (2017). Of a Fair Uniforme Making, the Building History of Beverley
Minster 1188-1216. Pickering: Blackthorn Press. p. 318.  ^ "Cornards,-Feast of Fools". The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. 94 (1): 62. February 1824. Retrieved 13 December 2017.  ^ Crossley, Frederick Herbert (1921). English church monuments A. D. 1150-1550; an introduction to the study of tombs & effigies of the Mediaeval period. London: B. T. Batsford. p. 56. Retrieved 28 October 2016.  ^ " Beverley
and Beverley
Minster, East Yorkshire history". Retrieved 6 July 2012.  ^ "Frith Stool – Hexham Abbey". Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.  ^ "Plan of the Minster and top visitor attractions » Beverley Minster". Retrieved 6 July 2012.  ^ "A Sanctuary for Lent". Retrieved 6 July 2012. This chair is the "Frid Stool". It is Saxon and predates the Norman and Gothic minsters here. It is a physical connection to John of Beverley, founder of the 8th-century monastery which is the origin of everything in modern Beverley.... Over its history the Frid Stool has become the symbol of sanctuary. Beverley
was a sanctuary town where, if you had committed a crime which demanded death, you could claim sanctuary and your sentence was commuted – often people were sent abroad. The whole town had this function and there are crosses on the boundaries to define the geographical limits of this provision. Jeremy Fletcher. Beverley
Minster vicar, 2007  ^ "Yorkshire, East Riding Beverley, Minster of St. John and St. Martin [D06725]". National Pipe Organ Register website. Retrieved 26 August 2008.  ^ a b History & Directory of East Yorkshire, 1892, p. 346 ^ a b "New musical director for Beverley
Minster". Hull Daily Mail. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2013.  ^ "Church Notices and News" (PDF). Beverley
Minster. 2 June 2013. p. 3. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beverley

Official website Historic England. "Details from image database (167285)". Images of England. 

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Members of the Greater Churches Network

Church of England

Province of Canterbury

Bath Abbey St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham St Botolph's Church, Boston St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol St Mary's Church, Bury St Edmunds Church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge Cheltenham Minster Church of St Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield Christchurch Priory Holy Trinity Church, Coventry St Wulfram's Church, Grantham Great Malvern Priory Great Yarmouth Minster St Mary, Hadleigh All Saints' Church, Hertford King's Lynn Minster St James' Church, Louth St Laurence's Church, Ludlow All Saints Church, Fulham, London All Saints Church, Kingston upon Thames, London Christ Church, Spitalfields, London St Marylebone Parish Church, London St Martin-in-the-Fields, London St Mary's, Lutterworth St Peter Mancroft, Norwich All Saints' Church, Northampton Pershore Abbey Romsey Abbey St Andrew's Church, Rugby St Mary the Virgin, Saffron Walden St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon St Mary Magdalene, Taunton Sherborne Abbey Shrewsbury Abbey St Mary Magdalene, Taunton Tewkesbury Abbey Waltham Abbey Church Collegiate Church of St Mary, Warwick Wimborne Minster St Peter's Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton

Province of York

Minster Bolton Priory Bridlington Priory Cartmel Priory St George's Minster, Doncaster Halifax Minster St Peter's Church, Harrogate Grimsby Minster Hexham Abbey Hull Minster Kendal Parish Church Lancaster Priory Leeds Minster Liverpool Parish Church St Mary's Church, Nantwich Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent St Mary's Church, Nottingham Church of St Peter and St Paul, Ormskirk Rotherham Minster Selby Abbey Church of St Wilfrid, Standish Sunderland Minster

Church in Wales

Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny St John the Baptist Church, Cardiff St Giles' Church, Wrexham

Scottish Episcopal Church

Church of St John the Evangelist, Edinburgh

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 128177579 LCCN: no2002027875 GN