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Beverley Minster

Minster Yard North Beverley HU17 0DP

One of Europe's finest Gothic churches, Beverley Minster dominates the beautiful historic town of Beverley. There's been a religious foundation here since around 700 AD, which makes Beverley the equal of England's other major religious centres. A later Norman church on the site suffered from fire and collapse and the building you visit today was begun in the early 13th century and took almost 200 years to complete. It's stunning inside, with a hugely graceful nave with marble columns and a 14th-century canopied tomb of the Percy family that's considered one of the finest Gothic tombs in the country. But the real treasures here are the extraordinary medieval carvings of minstrels – over 70 of them, which is probably the largest collection anywhere in the world. They're a joy to discover (you'll have to look both high and low in the church), with the wood and stone minstrels sporting bagpipes, fiddles, flutes, drums, lutes, cymbals and tamborines – no surprise that Beverley was an important centre for music in medieval times. To know more, ask one of the assistants – they're usually happy to help as long as there's no service or event scheduled. Or join one of the tours, of the interior or the roof, which take around an hour. The roof tour is especially good, getting you up close to the fabulous stained glass.

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