Bowled over by Beverley

If you mention The Minster in my part of the world, people automatically think you are talking about York Minster.  I had been told that Beverley Minster could hold its own in the beauty stakes, and set out one day to verify this.  I was already rapt in the intricate details when I learned that the Percy Canopy dates from around 1340, and is regarded as a masterpiece of the decorated Gothic style.

More importantly, the atmosphere in the church was warm and welcoming, and I didn’t feel like an intruder, which so often seems to happen.  I entered through the Highgate Porch and was struck by the vastness of the building and the height of the Nave.

I was immediately captivated by the carvings that adorned the walls of the North Aisle.  In the Middle Ages, Beverley was headquarters of the musicians fraternity in the north of England.  These detailed medieval carvings illustrate the period.

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The minster owes its origin to St. John of Beverley, who founded a monastery here in 700AD.  He was bishop of Hexham and then of York before founding Beverley, and his bones still lie beneath a plaque in the nave.  The organ dates from 1767, the beautiful wood carving added in 1880.

I know that Jude would absolutely love it here because she has a thing for misericords, and there are no less than 68.  In medieval times clergy were required to stand when praying.  The Normans tried to make life a little easier by providing a misericord- a shelf on a hinged seat, just enough to perch on.  The name comes from ‘misericordia’, meaning pity, and decorating them with relevant carvings became an artform.

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The High Altar is in regular use for Holy Communion, and behind it there is a beautifully carved altar screen.  Accessed through the Quire, in the south east corner of the church, St. Katherine’s Chapel is a place for quiet contemplation.

Although I was in awe of this lovely building, still I felt comfortable there, and would love to return.  Even the modern art work did not feel out of place.  The Beverley Minster website has a self-guided tour, both useful and informative.

Pedestrian?  I really don’t think so, though the minster did form part of one of my walks.  Join me next Monday?

110 comments

    1. The bus left Hartlepool about 9 am and it was after 13.00 before we got there, with a 20 minute loo stop, Pauline. And back on the bus about 16.45. You’re not in control on a coach trip but they’re cheap. Mick wasn’t available that day and I did enjoy my little jaunt. 🙂 🙂

  1. Wow Jo – these are extraordinary. I especially liked your nave photo as I know how difficult they are to capture. The building looks amazing although I must admit I am not a fan of putting modern art sculptures in classic spaces. Appreciate the tour!!

  2. Yes I would always have thought of York if anyone mentioned the Minster Jo! Beverley Minster looks beautiful – I am always amazed at the intricacy of the stonework and the magnificence of the Naves. A lovely set of photos! Been a tough week and there is something very soothing looking at photos of beautiful cathedrals – also just about to check out your autumnal scenery post now. Hope all is well with you and you have a good weekend xx

    1. Hello darlin 🙂 🙂 It’s a nice little market town and will be the subject of tomorrow’s walk. Amazing that there should be two such mighty buildings so close to each other. But then, England’s full of them, isn’t it? I hope that all goes well for you over here. Sending hugs and you’ll be in my thoughts.

      1. Yes England is definitely full of these wonderful buildings – interesting it is so close to York. Hope to get over to York whilst I’m over as I love it so much but will need to see what my dad feels up to. Thanks so much for your lovely support – I know you’ve been through similar times recently and it doesn’t matter how old our parents are it’s still a huge loss. Hope you have a wonderful time in the Algarve over the next few weeks too 🙂

  3. Yes how absolutely lovely, it’s packed with little details isn’t it? I had to google to see the outside, equally stunning. Thanks darling, I do like to see these great churches. Hope your weekend started well, I have a three day one so I’m happy 🙂

    1. I forgot to show the outside, Gilly. So busy on the details 🙂 But I will probably do Beverley on Monday, just to round the chapter off, so I’ll get another chance. Have a lovely weekend, hon 🙂 🙂

  4. Wow!! These are fantastic photos, Jo and I love the look of Beverly Cathedral. It is glorious in its architecture, whilst still so serene and welcoming. I would never have imagined modern art would fit so well and the age of the organ is incredible, nearly 250 years! How interesting that it was part of the musicians fraternity. I’ve been to many cathedrals around the country, nearly all awe inspiring but some more like a noisy tourist trap full of loud rambling folk, others like this still retain the aura of sacred and uniqueness – one to visit and I can well understand you’re drawn to return there! 😀

    1. Beverley is a little gem, Annika. It was my first, and lamentably short, visit and I was so glad I went. There is a church on the other side of town which is equally lovely. 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot!

    1. London to York is easy enough by train, Karen, but then I think you’d need a local bus. It’s a lot of effort and it rather depends how long you are here and what else you have planned. I can have a look at timetables etc if you need me to, preferably on my return from the Algarve cos I’m feeling a bit pressured right now. 🙂

      1. Oh please don’t bother, I can do it as easily myself online. I see it’s two hours to York, then the bus … looks pretty tight for a day trip. And what a shame to whizz through York without admiring anything!

    2. My walk today features Beverley, Karen, so you can get a look at the rest of the place. As I was writing it I realised that there’s a railway station on the Tourist Information map, but you’re right- really not worth it for a day. There’s so much else near at hand. 🙂

      1. Oh cool, I’ll check out your post. And I have a walk for you. 🙂 I think you’re right about not trying to squeeze it in — I think I have too many things in my wish list already for the brief time I’m there. Sometimes I think I should have just stayed in London …

      2. I’m just finishing mine. No idea of the time differential when I talk to Oz! If yours is done I’ll pop over shortly and ‘grab’ it as this is my last walk for a while. Algarve on Wednesday 🙂

      1. We’ve been in Europe for four weeks now Jo, in Germany at the moment. We won’t head home until next week…it has been wonderful thank you. 🙂

  5. I’m also bowled over by all this beauty. I don’t know much about England, but still, I’m surprised I haven’t heard about this church. It certainly is a masterpiece of the decorative Gothic style. The statue in the last photo was exquisite.

    1. York Minster gets all the publicity, Nicky, and rightly so, I guess. Beverley is a small market town, not too far from York and it is astounding to me that there should be 2 such beauties within close proximity. 🙂 🙂

  6. No. Never been here either, though I have heard about it. I would love to have a wander around, but you seem to have captured a lot of its beauty. Love the musicians!! No cloisters?

    1. No cloisters! That’s all it’s lacking I think. It wasn’t till I got home and found the website that I read about the leaning pillar. Amazing that the place is still standing, and mostly done on fund raising- there is no admission charge, unlike York. The Quire is very impressive. It was the only bit where I felt a little awkward because there was a sign saying you should ask if you wanted to look closely at the misericords. I really didn’t have time, but so glad I made it to St. Mary’s too. More misericords and a wonderful ceiling. 🙂

      1. After Lincoln and the episode with the misericords I have been put off looking too closely. At least here they give you the opportunity to look.

    1. That’s good to know, Keith 🙂 🙂 I have a very good blogging friend who lives in Winchester and recently took part in the Heritage event. (Becky from Winchester) Are you writing about the cathedrals?

    1. Yes, it’s a fabulous example, Eleazar. 🙂 🙂 I’ve been meaning to visit for years (it’s quite a way south from here) and was really pleased to finally get there. Thanks a lot!

  7. Such a beautiful church. I know I have been to Beverly but it must be over 30 years ago so I don’t remember much. I would love to just take off and do a grand tour of the uk to see all these places but John will insist on going to work.

    1. Isn’t he mean? 🙂 🙂 Still, somebody’s got to pay for the grand holidays, Anabel. I’m always torn between revisiting places that I dimly remember and trying to fill in some of the gaps. I think it’s an impossible task. 🙂

  8. I really like Beverley. The Minster is a fine building but I actually prefer St Mary’s Church on the other side of town. The town is a good place to visit on a Saturday, it has a good market and that is high praise indeed from someone who detests shopping!

  9. Beverley doesn’t have to take second place to any minster, Jo. I got a chuckle out of your title, as it made me think of cricket (being an English post.) Thanks for letting me come along to visit this glorious church.

    janet

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