Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Beverley Minster (Beverley)

The Minster Church of St. John the Baptist at Beverley in Yorkshire is the largest church in England used as a parish church.

Contrary to widely held belief, it is not a cathedral.

The Minster is on the site of retreat established by John, Bishop of York, who was later canonised as St. John of Beverley.

Today`s Minster was begun about 1220. The twin West towers are widely regarded as the finest in Europe, and are 163 feet high. They probably inspired Nicholas Hawksmoor when he designed the towers for Westminster Abbey in 1745.

The Percy tomb, dating from around 1350, is a particularly fine example of mediaeval stone carving. Nearby is a rare wooden sedilia of the same date.

The Frith Stool or Sanctuary Chair dates from around 980. The only other is at Hexham Abbey.

There are 68 miseriocrds in the choir, an astonishing number which is more than in any other church or cathedral in the British Isles.

The magnificent East window has a jumbled colection of fragments of mediaeval stained glass.

The tomb of St. John of Beverley is at the East end of the nave.

In the Minster, partly on the misericords, is the largest collection of carvings of mediaeval musical instruments in the world.

The Minster clock is the only one to strike on bells in two towers.

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