Total Pageviews

Monday, 3 July 2017

Magnificent Minster

Beverley Minster is such a beautiful building that I felt it deserves a blog to itself.  The twin Perpendicular towers at the west end of the church make it look like Westminster Abbey, and you don't have to pay to get in!

This is the northern most of the two towers. It was built between 1360 and 1420 and the carvings look almost as if done yesterday.

In fact these statues couldn't have been carved then as it looks like this one is off Elizabeth I who died in 1603.

And this one looks like George V who died in 1936. Is that a Masonic symbol on his tunic?

This is a view of the nave facing the West doors. The Tadcaster limestone gives a lovely bright colour to the Perpendicular style architecture.

This is looking down to the east towards the choir and chancel.

In the south transept are the chapels of the East Yorkshire Regiment. I think this memorial is for a Major General Bernard Foord Bowes who also has a memorial in St Paul's Cathedral that was designed by Cristopher Wren. He died leading the assault of the Salamance Forts in 1812.

Behind the altar are these beautifully carved pieces with the paintings of Saints above. I think it is a 19th Century restoration.

Looking to the west down the quire is a great view of the 68 choir stalls from the 16th Century. There are many 'misericords' or little perches to rest the bum on, and each has a unique carving below. The canopies above were restored in the 18th Century and the 'statues were made in 20th Century. The organ was built in 1769 and the screen below it was designed in 1880 by Gilbert Scott and carved by local woodworker James Elwell ,who was the father of the famous local artist Fred Elwell.

The east end of the Minster is the earliest part of the church, built between 1190 and 1250. The ornate carving is the canopy of the Percy Tomb. It is thought to date from 1340 for the tomb of Lady Eleanor Percy. It is regarded as a masterpiece of the Decorated Gothic Style. I think the dark stone in the building is Purbeck Marble.

When Henry VIII  dissolved the monasteries and church oganisations the Minster was a collegiate church run by a group of Canons. They met in the Chapter House that was an octagonal building outside the wall of the Minster. These are the stairs that led to it. The Chapter House was demolished in 1550 when the church was 'demoted' to a parish church.

These are the statues inside the west door and I assume they are saints.

This chap has a very generous mustache and seems to have an Eastern head dress on.

I'm not sure who this is but he has very scary eyes that seem to be shocked by something. I'd love to know if these pieces are orginal or have been replaced over the years and so are much more modern that the Minster itself.

The font is perhaps the only item that remains from the original Norman Church that collapsed in 1214. The wooden cover is from the 18th Century.

There are some lovely little stone carvings along the north and south aisles. This chap seems to have a cheeky grin and a jesters hat, but has hooves and animals legs. Is it a pan figure?

Looking at the stone work of the south transept.

This is the north transept to the right and then the north east transept and the vestry, Percy Chapel and Lady Chapel with the eats window to the left.

The north choir aisle is famous for the carvings of musicians and here are some of them.

These carvings are largely from the 14th Century. This one appears to be a hurdy gurdy type instrument.

There are over 70 of these carvings and several of them are of bag pipe players.

This looks like a recorder type instrument. They are a historical record of instruments that have been lost to us, but also those that have survived with little change.

The Minster is a great Church and is completely different to Holy Trinity Church in Hull, that has just become a Minster. In fact there is a great contrast to be had between these close neighbours of towns and I would recommend a visit to Beverley for the day.


  1. Replies
    1. And has been on the doorstep all the time! I hope you are both well.