Video podcasts

Presented by Dr Jennie England, these videos explore the rich history of Beverley and its people told through the medieval and Tudor bosses on the ceilings of St Mary’s, and other treasures of the church.

Beverley’s hidden museum: The Priests’ Rooms

21st August 2020

Beverley has a secret museum! Hidden above an exquisite fourteenth century chapel, in the north east corner of St Mary’s Church, are its so-called Priests’ Rooms. Jennie England explores the rooms in her latest video podcast. Join her as she steps through the little door and up the narrow spiral stairs which lead to this little-known ‘cabinet of curiosities’. A rare opportunity to see some of the treasures of the town and church.

Beastly bosses!

6th June 2020

Among the hundreds of carvings on the ceilings of St Mary’s are some mythical creatures. In her latest video podcast, Jennie England tells the story of two of these strange beasts.

“As free make I thee, as heart may think, or eye may see”

7th May 2020

Published on 7th May, the feast of St John of Beverley. The ‘founding father’ of Beverley, John died on this day in 721. His shrine in the Minster was a notable place of pilgrimage in the middle ages, attracting royal visitors including Henry V in 1421 – who ordered that St John was to become one of the patrons of the royal household and that his feast day, together with that of St George, was to be celebrated throughout England – and, before him, in around 934, King Athelstan, the first king of England. St John and King Athelstan appear together in two of the most prominent roof bosses at St Mary’s, both of which include the phrase known and loved by many Bevelonians: “Als free make I thee“. Jennie investigates these words and the imagery of the bosses.

The fall of the tower in 1520

29th April 2020

One of the most fateful events in the history of St Mary’s took place on this day 500 years ago – the fall of the tower, killing 55 people and leaving the church in ruins. Jennie reflects on this poignant moment in the history of the church and town, and on the remarkable restoration of St Mary’s over the following decade. The colourful nave ceiling with its superb collection of bosses dates from that Tudor rebuilding of the church.