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The history of Beverley. By B en Turney-White . Play all. S ections. Family life. Beverley trail. M ore. back. How it started?.

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The history of Beverley

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the history of beverley

The history of Beverley

By Ben Turney-White


Play all


Family life

Beverley trail


how it started


How it started?
  • Beverley means beaver stream (beavers were once common in Britain). About 705 a monastery was founded by the stream. In 721 John of Beverley, the Bishop of York died and was buried at the monastery. He was canonised (declared a saint) in 1037. It was said that miracles occurred around his tomb e.g. people were healed from illnesses. Soon pilgrims came to his burial place, some of them hoping for cures, some merely to worship. Soon a little trading settlement grew up around the monastery at Beverley.
entrances to beverley
Entrancesto Beverley
  • Medieval Beverley did not have a stone wall but it did have a ditch and an earth rampart probably with a wooden palisade on top. However there were 4 stone gates known as bars (bar is an old word for gate). Merchants bringing goods into the town had to pay tolls at the bars. The 4 bars were North Bar, Norwood Bar, Keldgate or South Bar and Newbegin Bar. Only 1 of the 4 gates survives, the North Bar. The present one was rebuilt in brick in 1409. When the town grew a suburb appeared outside the gate and was called North Bar Without. The buildings inside the gate were called North Bar Within.
15 th century tradings
15th century tradingS
  • Beverley was famous in the 15th century for brick making and tile making. In 1461 a by-law was passed that stated 'on account of the stink, fouling of the air and destruction of fruit trees no-one is to make a kiln to make tiles in or nearer to the said town (Beverley) than the kilns that are already built'. The kilns were obviously on the outskirts of the town but it is not known exactly where.

There was also a large leather industry in Beverley and there were many tanners. There were also butchers who lived and worked in Butcher Row. In Beverley there were also potters and coopers. However Beverley was most famous for its cloth industry. Wool was woven in the town. Then it was fulled. This means it was pounded in water and clay to clean and thicken it. When it was dry the wool was dyed. In 1390 a total of 38 trades were mentioned in Beverley.

beverley beck
Beverley beck
  • Commerce in Beverley was helped in the 12th century when the Archbishop persuaded the people 'to make a channel from the river of sufficient depth to carry barges'. This made it easier to bring goods to and from ships on the river.
  • In the Middle Ages there were weekly markets in Beverley. There were also 3 annual fairs. Fairs were like markets but they were held only once a year and buyers and sellers would come from all over Northeast England to attend. Originally the market was held in the south of the town, in a large triangular piece of land by the Minster between Eastgate and Highgate. Gradually shops and other buildings were erected on this market place and it shrunk in size. The market continued to be held there but it became known as the Wednesday Market.

In the 12th century a new market place was built north of the town. It became known as Saturday Market. A chapel dedicated to St Mary was built there and in 1269 it became a parish church. The Archbishop of York was Lord of the Manor of Beverley and he had the right to charge tolls on stallholders in the markets. Toll Gavel may have been the place where tolls were charged.

  • In the 13th century friars arrived in Beverley. The friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach. By the 1230s there were Dominican friars in Beverley. They were known as Black friars because of the colour of their costumes. By 1267 there were Franciscan friars in Beverley. They were called Grey friars because of the colour of their habits. By the end of the 13th century they moved to a site outside Keldgate Bar. In the early 13th century the Knights Hospitallers came to Beverley. They were an order of monks who provided hospitality to pilgrims and travellers.
  • In the Middle Ages the only 'hospitals' were run by the church. In them monks or nuns would care for the poor and infirm. Trinity hospital was founded in Beverley in 1397. By the mid 15th century there were 3 more, St Mary's, St John the Baptist's west of the Wednesday Market and St John's Hospital by Lairgate. There were also 2 leper hospitals. One was outside Keldgate and another was outside North Bar.
hull a fail
Hull (a fail)
  • By the late 14th century the population of Beverley had risen to over 5,000. By the standards of the time it was a large town. It was much larger than Hull at the time.
  • In the Middle Ages the church and Lord of the Manor gave the people of Beverley land on 3 sides of the town. These were common lands where the townspeople could graze their livestock. The last one, Westwood, was given in 1380. The lands, on 3 sides of the town, are sometimes called Beverley pastures. In the 20th century they formed a 'green belt' around Beverley.
  • At first the town of Beverley was owned and controlled by the Archbishop of York, who was Lord of the Manor. He built a house in the northern market place in the 12th century. But in time the Archbishop's grip on the town weakened and the merchants increasingly took control. At first the Archbishop appointed a steward to run the town but from the 14th century Beverley was run by a council of 12 keepers elected by the merchants.

In the 15th century, like many East Yorkshire towns, Beverley went into decline, mostly because of competition from up and coming towns in West Yorkshire such as Bradford and Sheffield



  • Numerous lectures, debates and campaigning activities were carried out by the Society and its associates. Most meetings were held at the Guildhall in Beverley, which is now open to the public as an East Riding Museums Service site.
william beverley
William Beverley
  • The President of the Society was William Beverley, whose family emigrated from the East Riding to Virginia, North America in the late 1600’s. Over generations the family’s cotton plantations grew in number as did their wealth and power. William Beverley was brought up on one of these plantations on the Blandfield Estate, towards the end of the 18th Century. He saw first hand how the system of slavery operated and how the slaves owned by his family suffered. He turned his back on his family’s business and went to Cambridge University to finish his education. He became involved in anti-slavery campaigning, coming into contact with William Wilberforce. He returned to Beverley, married and became a founder of the Beverley Anti-Slavery Society.


  • Beverley was important in war as Meany keen solders where recruited from it , some from grammar school . Beverley wasn't really bombed though in fact only one bomb it Beverley at flemingate and some bullets hit the train station from an English pilot supressing a German plane in a dive.
  • So nothing much harmed Beverley except an earthquake in the 1930s
the minsters wars
The minsters wars
  • The minster has saved us from the bombs as the Germans didn't want to destroy it as it was so big it was an arrow pointing strait to hull(not that it saved hull )
  • The minster once had a dome on it that wade to much and the walls started to crack and so it was removed.
thank you for watching


Thank you for watching
  • Designed by ben Turney-White
  • Published by ben Turney-White
  • Website help By Tim Lambert
  • TimeLine by Tim lambert
  • Special thanks to grandad
  • And great grandad!
  • For helping me make this in one day…
in beverley


In Beverley

Family life

my grandad
My grandad
  • In world war two my grandad lived at 43 Westwood road. Because of rations he would eat soup made from left over chicken from a rich woman that she fed her dog with. He is also a witness of the bullet holes in the back of the train station.
  • He would recive letters from his dad (my great grandad) who cooked in the war but at one point was in captivity at mersamartru by the italliens

Letter to great great grandad.

Great grandads dog tag

It says

Stat,V111A 82162

Grandads birth certificate.




How it started


Beverley at war



  • A timeline of Beverley
  • A history of Hull
  • A history of York
  • A history of Scarborough
  • A history of Yorkshire
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