History

A brief history to Beverley

Beverley is famous for its bustling Wednesday and Saturday market and the architecturally magnificent Beverley Minster. The county town of Beverley is situated in the heart of the East Riding of Yorkshire, located six miles north of Hull, between the River Hull and the serene Beverley Westwood. Beverley, once the capital of the East Riding, was founded by Saint John of Beverley during Anglo Saxon times. It was originally known as Inderawuda and was incorporated as a borough in 1573, during the reign of Elizabeth I, as a place of great importance and wealth.

The main landmark of the town is the Beverley Minster. The Minster was founded early in the 8th century, although the original structure has been damaged during the Viking invasions and the Norman Conquest. Within Beverley Minster lie the bones of St John of Beverley, who founded a monastery locally around 700AD. His remains still lie beneath a plaque in the nave at Beverley Minster. The minster church received its first charter in 1129. Beverley Minster is regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in England and one of the finest examples of a Gothic church of cathedral size in Europe.

As well as the minster, there are a number of other historic features in Beverley, like the beautiful parish church of St Mary’s. Beverley’s Saint Mary’s church is famous for a carving of a rabbit, which is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll to create the March Hare in the well known book and Hollywood film, Alice in Wonderland.

The northern entrance to the town is marked by the Medieval North Bar. Like York, it was one of five gateways protecting the entrance to the town and would have been supported by a drawbridge and surrounded by a defensive ditch.

Another landmark feature of Beverley is the Beverley Racecourse. Horse racing has been held in Beverley since 1690. Beverley Racecourse is an independent race-track with a crowd capacity of approximately 12,000. It hosts over twenty flat race meetings between April and September. July and August are the busiest months and feature evening racing.

Beverley’s Market Place is the home of a very popular and flourishing Wednesday and Saturday market and has a historic market cross, supported by eight columns, dating from 1714. With its historic and bustling market place, its wealth of independent shops and magnificent Medieval and Georgian architecture, Beverley is seen as one of the most beautiful towns in Britain.