Beverley is a pretty little market town in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It shares a name with Beverley Hills in the U.S., but aside from the name the two places share absolutely nothing in common.
The town of Beverley has a long and illustrious history and it was once an important centre for trade and religion, particularly when the cloth making industry was at its height. During the 19th century, Beverley became a prominent market town in the local area and many of the old timber buildings were replaced with smart new Georgian-style constructions. Today, some of the original architecture, including the Bar entrances, have been removed to accommodate a bigger population, but nevertheless, the town retains much of its character and is well worth a visit if you are in the local area – or you enjoy horse racing!
Medieval Beverley Minster is a fine example of gothic architecture. The present structure was built in the 1200s and is believed to have been the inspiration for part of the design of Westminster Abbey. Once inside, check out the fabulous marble columns, the ‘Frith Stool’, 16th century misericords, and the wonderfully decorative tomb of Lady Eleanor Percy. There is also a large collection of medieval carvings dotted around the minster.
The Guildhall on Register Square is an impressive Grade I listed building with a wonderfully ornate Georgian courtroom containing original 17th century furniture and an ornate plasterwork ceiling.
St Mary’s Church at North Bar Within is also well worth a look and is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in England.
A Day at the Races
Flat racing enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to Beverley Racecourse – it’s been a popular venue for thoroughbred racing since 1767. There are regular racing fixtures on the calendar between April and September. The racecourse is located on the edge of the town. It can get incredibly busy in town on Race Days, so make sure you arrive in good time.
Art in Beverley
Beverley Art Gallery has an impressive collection of artwork by local artist, Frederick Elwell. You will find this lovely Edwardian gallery in the centre of the town – it has an interesting permanent collection, plus regular temporary exhibitions on a range of different themes.
Shopping in Beverley
Beverley is blessed with a fantastic range of shops. You can explore old cobbled streets where designer boutiques sit side by side with artisan coffee shops and craft shops, or flex your plastic on the High Street where all of the big brand names can be found.
The Georgian Quarter is the most interesting shopping area in Beverley. The 15th century North Bar contains a plethora of listed buildings, so you can admire the wonderful architecture at the same time as browsing the shops. And don’t forget to investigate the new Flemingate retail and leisure complex on the edge of Beverley – it has a cinema as well as lots of shops and restaurants.
Beverley is a great place to visit, plus it makes a scenic base for further exploration of the Yorkshire Wolds or the wonderful Yorkshire coastline.