The history of Beverley Minster starts with the life of St John of Beverley who
was born in 640AD. He was a monk at St Hilda`s abbey at Whitby and was
consecrated Bishop of Hexham in 687. He also ordained the Venerable Bede and
features in the Bedes history of England. John became Bishop of York in 705 and
eventually returned to the Abbey he had founded in Beverley. He died in 721 and
his remains are buried in the Minster.
On entering you
will be standing in the oldest Cathedral in England, the first stone church was
built by Wilfred in 672, the original and surviving crypt is one of the oldest
Christian Shrines in England. It is interesting because it is built to
what was believed at the time to be the exact dimensions of Christís Tomb.
The original church was destroyed in 950 and the second laid waste by the
Normanís in 1069. the present building therefore dates back to the 11th and 12th
centuries. Many interesting things to see in this lovely building
including the Harrison organ which dates back to 1914.
The Minster is York's chief
glory, appropriate to the dignity of an Archbishopric, built between 1220 and
1470, it contains England's greatest concentration of medieval stained glass,
principally from the 13th and 14th Centuries. The two most famous windows
being the five sisters and the magnificent 15th Century east window, the largest
in the world. The Ministers length is 518ft and is 241ft wide at the
transept. The central tower rises 198ft and is the largest lantern tower
in Britain. The 14th Century Chapter House with seven lovely window walls
has no central support for its conical roof, just the great buttresses on the
eight sides. The Choir was completed by 1400 and its great climax the east
window with 2,000 sq ft of ancient glass by John Thornton of Coventry was
finished in 1408, the massive towers came last.