Beverley Minster

For a early music afficionado, Beverley Minster is like going to heaven. There are more stone and wooden carvings of people playing medieval instruments than anywhere else in Europe. We went there with Vicki Davidson and her friend Martin on our recent (July 2004) trip to Yorkshire. I confess that I'd never heard of the place, but got into it quite fast when we started to look around. Many of the stone carvings had been restored, as can be seen in the lighter stone in some arms and heads. Any comments or corrections concerning picture captions will be gratefully appreciated and accepted.

In the photo gallery below, click on images that you wish to enlarge. The two banners are worth enlarging to readable size as they explain the presence of the numerous carvings of musicians and instruments. If you wish further information about Beverley Minster, check out

This picture and the next are banners explaining the musical statuary in the minster. Worth the reading.

The west wall of the Minister. A few musicians to be seen. This picture was a bit out of focus, so couldn't very large.

This window is full of angels playing----a viola da gamba, transverse flute, trumpet, triangle (I think), drum, and possibly others.

A recorder player.




A dancing player --- looks like a shofar or a cow's horn cornetto

I was told this represents what happens if you play music too much and neglect spiritual pursuits.

Portative organ and harp.




Bagpipe--medieval style.

Double pipe - someone please tell me about this one.

Nakers - kind of an early tympani

Can't tell---he appears to be playing something, but the instrument is obscured.

Don't see an instrument in this one, but it's so neat I wanted to put it in anyway.



Beverley was a sanctuary for fugitives-this is the sanctuary chair or "Frid stool" from which the boundaries of the sanctuary area were measured.



Portative organ

Yes, the Minster has a big organ, too, dating from the late 18th century.


Don't know what his story is, but there must be a message here somehow.



Double pipe and tabor--a great idea, but I've never seen one before.


I didn't know that angels played hurdy-gurdys.


Another double pipe and tabor.

I can't believe that someone would do this while an angel was playing a shawm. But here it is.

Shawm or trumpet - the hand position might indicate a trumpet.

And a green man peaking out at the world---every cathedral needs one.


The baptismal font, with beaver's tails on each corner of the base. The name "Beverley" came from "Beaverly".

And if this doesn't scare the hell out of you, I don't know what will.

And we left (in the rain) at 12:45.

And finally, if anyone can tell me about this carving in the choir at the minster, I would be most pleased. Could it have been placed there to tempt the monks to forget their vows?

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