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An Introduction to Beverley, East Yorkshire

Updated on November 29, 2013

The town of Beverley was originally known as Inderawuda , Inderawuda meant in the Wood of the men of Deira ( Deira was originally a small kingdom of the early Briton's but was merged with Bernicia to form Northhumbria ). The origins of Beverley can be traced back to the time of the Angles, and grew in importance within the kingdom of Northumbria in by the seventh century. The naming of the town Beverley can be attributed to a few different sources but it was most likely named Beverley after a colony of beavers in the River Hull.

Beverley was an important trading centre for the Northumbrian kings, by the turn of the century Beverley had become an important Christian place of worship. A monastery was built outside the town of Beverley due to the religious connections that Beverley had with the Bishop of York, who later became Saint John of Beverley after his death and beautification.There were numerous religious sites in and around Beverley, but many of these faded after the reign of Henry the VIII and the rise of KIngston upon Hull.

Beverley Minister
Beverley Minister

Around 850 A.D the monastery was abandoned, this was possibly due to the invasion of the great heathen army of Norse Vikings who had invaded the area around Beverley with a view to controlling the Kingdom of Jórvík ( York ). After a period of Viking control, it passed to the Cerdic dynasty, a period during which it gained prominence in terms of religious importance in England. By 1000 A.D the Beverley public had been able to get the monastery active again due to the strong feelings the faithful population had for Saint John of Beverley. Beverley became a place of pilgrimage through the Middle Ages due to its saint, and also due to the visions that Athelstan the King of England (925 AD-939 AD) had before battle while staying in Inderwuda .

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Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire HU17, UK
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Beverley was encouraged to grow by the Archbishops of York and the new rulers of England the  Normans. Beverley was a very christian town whereas many of the other Yorkshire towns wanted Viking rule over them again. Beverley was spared Norman destruction due to its religious importance, while other Yorkshire towns suffered with the Norman installing their rule. Beverley became a wool trading centre with massive trade with Belgium and Holland. Beverley was at one stage the 10th largest town in England and due to the church among the richest. The English reformation destroyed much of Beverley's wealth, prestige and desirability. Beverley was very much against having the King Henry VIII as head of their church, and suffered because of this stance. Although the Beverley minster was saved the other abbeys were demolished. This combined with famine saw Beverley decline in importance.

With the start of the civil war, Beverley took the side of the Royalists even though its neighbouring city Hull refused King Charles entry through its gates. The town of Beverley was captured by the Round heads but was liberated by the Royalists quite quickly. Obviously the Royalists lost and Beverley found the puritan laws of Oliver Cromwell stifling to the towns religious convictions. The Minster endured despite the attention of the puritans wanting to destroy anything decadent in their eyes. Upon King Charles the second reclaiming the throne, Beverley took the new King as been good news and put his seal in the minster. King Charles the seconds colours still hang there to this day. From then on Beverley continued to support the local agriculture and trade. Beverley continued to develop local trade  and to this current date is a recognised historic market town.


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