18 Apr | 09:31 AM

A World Class Welcome: Beverley

A World Class Welcome: Beverley

The market town of Beverley is both blissful and beautiful; and is also one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets.

Founded around 700 AD by Saint John of Beverley, the town experienced great growth, especially under Norman rule. A place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages, Beverley then 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.

Voted one of the best places to live in the UK, this stunning town is home to a lively market, a thriving music scene, excellent horse racing and a medieval skyline that remains refreshingly unspoilt. So, 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 further propelled the town forward; with the development of the Georgian Quarter and Flemingate, fascinating history meets modern shopping in a wonderfully eclectic juxtaposition. 

An immediate, eye-catching feature of the town’s skyline is Beverley Minster, one of the most beautiful gothic buildings in Europe and, at 333 feet in length, is larger than a number of English cathedrals. Built in the period 1190-1420, the Minster is as imposing as it is stunning and is renowned for its 13th Century stone carvings, stained glass and decoration. 

Not content with playing host to one stunning religious building, Beverley is also home to St Mary’s Church, a magnificent building that 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. "Despite its move into marvellous modernity, Beverley is still, at its heart, a market town.

The current 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.  

It will come as no surprise that a town steeped in such wondrous history would have a few quirky stories to pass on generation after generation and one is of great literary importance.

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.

Yorkshire is aiming to make this edition of the UCI Road World Championships the most innovative, the most inclusive and the most inspiring ever and, with this in mind, a Para-cycling race will take place alongside the championships for the first time ever. This event will have a start in Beverley. 

The town already has plenty of cycling event pedigree having hosted stages of the Tour de Yorkshire and Asda Women's Tour de Yorkshire in 2016 and 2018; with a further stage of the TDY being hosted this year.

The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International has three start locations and takes place on a point-to-point route between Beverley and Harrogate on Saturday 21st September 2019.

The Beverley start will play host the B Men, B Women and C4-5 Men and will take in 106.2km. 

9 months ago
Written by Danny Roberts

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