The history of Beverley - Beverley Grammar School

By Ben Turney-White
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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
 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.
 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 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 mersa martru by
the italliens
Letter to
great great
dog tag
It says
 This is my great great grandmar in hospital in world war 2
 A timeline of Beverley
 A history of Hull
 A history of York
 A history of Scarborough
 A history of Yorkshire
 Home

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