Beverley Minster

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Coordinates: 53°50′21″N 0°25′29″W / 53.83917°N 0.42472°W / 53.83917; -0.42472

Beverley Minster, in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire is a parish church in the Church of England.

Originally a collegiate church, it was not selected as a bishop's seat during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; nevertheless it survived as a parish church, and the chapter house was the only major part of the building to be lost. It is part of the Greater Churches Group and a Grade 1 Listed building.



The Minster owes its origin and much of its subsequent importance to Saint John of Beverley, who founded a monastery locally around 700 AD and whose bones still lie beneath a plaque in the nave. The institution grew after his death and underwent several rebuildings. After a serious fire in 1188, the subsequent reconstruction was overambitious; the newly heightened central tower collapsed c. 1213 bringing down much of the surrounding church. Work on the present structure began around 1220.

It took 200 years to complete building work but, despite the time scale involved, the whole building has coherent form and detail and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Perpendicular design, the twin towers of the west front being a superlative example. These formed the inspiration for the design of the present Westminster Abbey.

As with many English churches during the wars of religion in the sixteenth century, Beverley Minster was not immune to dissension. Church authorities cracked down hard on those they felt were part of the Popish conspiracy, contrary to Royal decrees. "Among those holding traditional beliefs were three of the clergy at the minster, who were charged with Popish practices in 1567; John Levet was a former member of the college and Richard Levet was presumably his brother. Both Levetts were suspended from the priesthood for keeping prohibited equipment and books and when restored were ordered not to minister in Beverley or its neighbourhood."[1]

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