The market town of Beverley is both blissful and beautiful. Founded around 700 AD by Saint John of Beverley, the town continued to grow, especially under Norman rule.
A place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages, Beverley evolved into a notable wool-trading settlement and was once the tenth-largest town in England.
After becoming a tourist destination in the 12th century, the town's pretty cobbled streets, historic buildings, awe-inspiring Minster and small-town charm continues to attract people in their droves, year on year.
Whether you are history buff, a music lover, a racegoer or a shopper, this East Yorkshire town has something for you.
Not only is Beverley famed for its history and market but in recent years, its ability to embrace modernity has propelled the town forward.
With the development of the Georgian Quarter and Flemingate, fascinating history meets modern shopping in a wonderfully eclectic juxtaposition.
Beverley featured in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015. Stage 2 of this race began in Selby and travelled through Beverley on the way to the finish in York.
In 2016, Beverley began the race, as it hosted the start of Stage 1. The peloton set off from Saturday Market before parading around the town, through North Bar before heading north west to the official start at Beverley Racecourse.
Saint John Fisher
John Fisher, who was venerated by Roman Catholics as Saint John Fisher, was a Bishop, Cardinal and Theologian; Fisher also served as Chancellor for the University of Cambridge.
Fisher, born in Beverley in 1469 is an important figure in English history and is honoured as a martyr by the Catholic Church; after his execution by King Henry VIII for his refusal to accept the King as Supreme Head of the newly formed Church of England.
Saint John Fisher shares a feast day with St Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints and on 6 July in that of the Church of England.
Eleanor May Tomlinson may have been born in London but the English actress moved to the East Riding of Yorkshire when she was very young and attended Beverley High School.
Tomlinson is known for her roles as Princess Isabelle in Jack the Giant Slayer and her recurring role as Demelza Poldark in the hit TV show, Poldark.
Born in Beverley, Paul Robinson played local Sunday league football in the Hull Boys League before being spotted by York City and eventually coming through the ranks at Leeds United following a trial period in 1997.
The goalkeeper, who attended Beverley Grammar School, would go on to make 95 appearances for the club before making 137 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, 189 for Blackburn Rovers and 3 for Burnley before retiring in July 2017.
Robinson was also a key member of the England national team set-up, making 41 appearances between 2003 and 2007; appearing at both Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006.
Kyle Edmund may have been born in Johannesburg, South Africa but moved to Yorkshire aged three. The tennis player, part of the Great Britain squad that won the Davies Cup in 2015, grew up in Tickton and regularly trains in Beverley.
Edmund only started taking tennis lessons when he was 10 and, still only young at 22 years old, the right-hander has amassed just under £1.5m in prize money and is now ranked at 58 in the world.
ICONIC LANDMARKS OF PAST AND PRESENT
The Minster is one of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in Europe and, at 333 feet in length it is larger than a number of English cathedrals. Built in the period 1190-1420, Beverley Minster is as imposing as it is stunning and is renowned for its 13th Century stone carvings, stained glass and decoration.
St Mary's Church
This magnificent church owes its great architectural interest to the continued development between 1120 and 1530.
Sir Tatton Sykes, a 19th Century East Riding landowner and restorer of churches once stood contemplating the west front of the church and remarked "Lovely St Mary's, unequalled in England and almost without rival on the continent of Europe."
The market is set in beautiful and historic surroundings, lined with cobbled streets and charming courtyards.
With the hustle and bustle that you would expect of a market town, Beverley market strikes perfect harmony between past and present, offering a wide array of things to do.
Horse racing has been a part of town life in Beverley since the 16th Century. In 1752, the Jockey Club was founded and the first Grandstand built in 1767.
Set in the stunning surroundings of The Westwood, the racecourse has been extended and modernised and hosts flat racing from April to September every year.
This Grade I listed building has a long and fascinating history. Originally purchased by the Beverley town keepers in 1501, it has seen continuous civic use since then. Nowadays, the building is run as a community museum and is well worth a visit; if only to see the stunning Georgian courtroom featuring plaster stucco-work by Giuseppe Cortese.
NEARBY BIKE LIBRARIES
The Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries scheme was set up as a legacy of the grandest ever Grand Départ of the Tour de France back in 2014 and aims to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike. Since its inception the scheme has seen 46 libraries set up, over 5,000 bikes donated and in excess of 40,000 opportunities for people in the county to cycle.
R-evolution bike library are working with Beverley St Nicholas Primary School to provide bike loans to children attending the school. Children at the school have the opportunity to take a bike home as well as attending additional road safety which help to ensure children are cycling in a safe and knowledgeable way, teaching them safe cycling skills for life.
R-evolution is a charity working to provide prisoners, ex-offenders and their families with skills, employment and resettlement support in an effort to reduce re-offending and increase community participation. R-evolution is based in Cottingham and works with HMP Humber to add value to the work of the prison through a number of interventions. Through this work R-evolution has developed a cycle enterprise which offers affordable cycles and other services to the general community, particularly in deprived areas. The bicycles used by R-evolution will be refurbished in HMP Humber as part of purposeful work and the ex-offenders training programme.
East Yorkshire Classic
In 1951, a group of ‘right minded rebels’ in Hull formed the Kingston Coureurs; causing a stir in the cycling scene that saw many other clubs in the city refusing to speak to the newly formed team.
The Coureurs organised three road races in 1952, the Swanland Dale RR (the first of its kind to be organised in East Yorkshire), the Butlins RR in Filey and the Danesdyke in Flamborough.
Members, Maurice and Dennis Hunter suggested the running of a two day event in 1953 but after a refusal by the committee, they broke away to form their own club, the Alpha Road Club.
1954 saw the promotion of two single day races: The Tour of the Wolds and the Circuit of the Caves; both achieving great success.
In 1955, the two events ran again along with Maurice Hunter’s brainchild two-day race, Alpha RC 2-Day.
The event, which began in Beverley, was run on a shoestring budget but broke even.
Over the following years, a wide range of sponsors were found and different titles used until 1999, when the event was sponsored by East Riding of Yorkshire County Council and renamed the ‘East Riding of Yorkshire Classic’.
After a run of 47 consecutive events, an organiser could not be found and the event did not take place in 2002.
Andy Cawley and Martin Cockerill decided to resurrect the race in the following year, and they did just that. With East Riding Council on board as main sponsors and a number of local companies offering support, the ‘East Yorkshire Classic’ was born.
The single day event over a 96 mile course, started and finished in Beverley taking in 3 laps of a 14-mile circuit and taking in some of the toughest climbs in the Yorkshire Wolds.
The 2004 and 2005 editions saw the event included in the premier calendar series; with overall prizes at £3,000.
The event was given a new lease of life by its new dedicated organisation team and entered the British National Road Race Championships in 2006.
The race has further evolved with the 2017 edition being featured on the Elite Circuit Race Series; with Saturday Market in Beverley the start and finish of the circuit. JLT Condor did extremely well with their riders Brenton Jones and Matthew Gibson finishing in first and second; with Yorkshire’s Harry Tanfield of Bike Channel Canyon in third.
It is widely believed that a rabbit carved into one side of a stone archway at St Michael’s Chapel, with his messenger bag, scroll and staff, is the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s tardy White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
The tale goes that Carroll, real name Charles Ludwidge Dodgson, was on a family outing to Beverley when he spotted the curious creature and although no record exists of the rabbit’s purpose, local folklore will always look upon him fondly as the muse for one of history’s most well-loved literary characters.
Beverley Grammar School is the oldest in England and The Beverley Building Society, East Yorkshire’s only independent building society, was founded in 1866 making this on of the UK’s oldest established societies.
Beverley is twinned with three communities:
This French commune, which became twinned with Beverley in 1997, has its own annual road bicycle race.
The Grand Prix de la ville de Nogent-sur-Oise is a 1.2 event on the UCI Europe Tour and, as of 2017, has had 73 editions with the first taking place in 1945.
Lemgo is University City in Germany which belongs to the OWL region; one of the most important cluster regions for mechanical engineering and Industrial Electronics in the country.
Hörstmar County Primary School in Lemgo has had a twin school in East Yorkshire’s Holme on Spalding Moor since 1989. Once a year, around 20-30 pupils from Holme On Spalding Moor Primary School visit Grundschule Hörstmar for a week-long trip.
Beverly, Massachusetts (USA)
This American twin was officially incorporated in 1668, when it was named after the East Yorkshire town of Beverley.
Indirectly, the East Yorkshire town is also responsible for the naming of one of the world’s most sought after postcodes, 90210. The world-famous Beverly Hills is named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts.
Beverly, like its East Yorkshire namesake is steeped in history too.
The first ship ever commissioned for the US Military, an armed schooner named Hannah, first sailed from Beverly Harbor on September 5, 1775 and for this exact reason, Beverly claims that it is the “Birthplace of America’s Navy”. The city is also known as the “Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution” as the site of the first cotton mill in America; built in 1787.