New book suggests Beverley Minster is over 30 years older than previously thought

A Driffield author has produced a new book that claims that Beverley Minster is over 30 years older than historians previously believed.

‘Of A Fair Uniforme Making – The Building of Beverley Minster 1188-1736’ has been written by John Phillips who, after researching masons’ marks and making comparisons with other buildings, suggests a radical re-dating of the building.

John’s interest in the minster started when he volunteered as a welcomer in 2004 and after ten years of research followed by two years of writing, he has a finished publication that includes some remarkable discoveries.

“The book suggests a radical re-dating of the building of the present church after a fire which destroyed most of Beverley in 1188, taking the building back some 30 years earlier than previously thought,” said John.

“Using mason’ marks and architectural comparisons with other buildings such as Hedon church and Fountains, Meaux and Jervaulx abbeys, the earliest eastern part of Beverley Minster has emerged as the only standing example of a number of churches designed by the same man, or group of men in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

“Long compared with Lincoln Cathedral, it is now clear that Beverley and the north of England had their own clearly defined style of architecture.”

The book also uses the masons’ marks to explain the development of the nave of the building which was interrupted by the Black Death in 1348 and explores the later restorations of the building in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Profusely illustrated, some of the illustrations, such as the contemporary drawing of the tomb of the fifth Earl of Northumberland who died in 1527, are published for the first time and with detailed plans, the new book is a comprehensive history of one of the finest Gothic churches in Britain.

“Although I have always been interested in architecture, this is the first time I have produced a book,” explained John who has lived in Driffield since the late 1980s.

“All proceeds from the book will be going towards the Minster’s funds which is one of the main reasons for writing it.”

The A4 hardback book consists of 320 pages and includes over 200 full colour illustrations.

Buy it here :-

Priced at £25, it is also available from the shop at Beverley Minster and Horsley and Dawson on Middle Street North, Driffield.


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