Beverley

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Beverley is a market town, civil parish and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, located between the River Hull and the Westwood. The town is noted for Beverley Minster and architecturally-significant religious buildings along New Walk and other areas, as well as the Beverley Racecourse and the market place; the town itself is around 1,300 years old. It is also home to the oldest grammar school in the country, Beverley Grammar School.

Much of the town centre is a Conservation Area, with nine separately appraised sub-areas:

• Area 1: North Bar Without – includes everything to the north of North Bar.
• Area 2: Westwood – comprises the suburban area to the south of York Road and to the west of North Bar Within and the northern part of Lairgate.
• Area 3: North Bar Within – includes Hengate and St. Mary’s Manor; the area focused on the parish Church of St. Mary’s.
• Area 4: Norwood – includes Norwood Dale and Old Walkergate on the inner relief road.
• Area 5: The Markets – a large central area including the commercial heartland and also the flanking streets of Lairgate and Walkergate.
• Area 6: Guildhall – focused around the civic area of the town.
• Area 7: Railway – the station and its environs.
• Area 8: Minster – a large, mostly residential area that is dominated and watched over by the Minster.
• Area 9: Flemingate and Beckside – the historic commercial south eastern section of the town.

The council organises the Saturday market, and there is also a Wednesday market.  Both are ancient, and have streets named after them: the original market charter dates from the C13.

The town was originally known as Inderawuda and was founded by Saint John of Beverley during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. After a period of Viking control, it passed to the Cerdic dynasty, a period during which it gained prominence in terms of religious importance in Great Britain. It continued to grow especially under the Normans when its trading industry was first established. A place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages due to its founder, Beverley eventually became a notable wool-trading town. Beverley was once the tenth-largest town in England, as well as one of the richest, because of its wool, and the pilgrims who came to venerate its founding saint, John of Beverley. But after the Reformation, the regional stature of Beverley was much reduced.

For 22 years, Beverley was the administrative centre of the local government district of the Borough of Beverley, and is now the County Town of the East Riding. It is located 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Hull, 10 miles (16 km) east of Market Weighton and 12 miles (19 km) west of Hornsea. According to the 2001 United Kingdom Census the total population of the urban area of Beverley was 29,110 – of whom 17,549 live within the historic parish boundaries. As well as its racecourse and markets, Beverley is known in the modern day for hosting various music festivals throughout the year, and also food festivals. In 2007 Beverley was named as the best place to live in the United Kingdom in an “Affordable Affluence” study by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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