Beverley Guildhall is a beautiful grade one listed historic building, with a long and fascinating history. It has been noted that parts of the building date back to the 14th century. However, original timbers were recently uncovered in two of the rooms, and can be dated back to the early 15th century. The Beverley Town Keepers purchased the original building on this site for use as a Guildhall in 1501. This was a meeting place for the town’s leading citizens, and civic business was conducted here until the late 20th century.
A local builder named William Middleton created a magnificent Courtroom decorated with a stucco ceiling in 1762. Giuseppe Cortese, a Swiss-Italian architect, can be credited with creating the impressive ceiling detail. However, the exterior of the Guildhall did not undergo any alterations or improvements until 1832. Eventually, the leading Georgian and Hull born architect Charles Mountain the Younger added an imposing frontage. Mountain modelled his design on the Greek temple of Apollo at Delos, due to the popularity of Greek Revival architecture at the time. The original 15th century stone arched entrance can now be seen in the grounds of the Dominican Priory near to Beverley Minster.
The Guildhall also features the Beverley Community Museum, which consists of a dedicated room displaying a programme of temporary exhibitions about the town’s rich and fascinating history. In addition to this, a separate room contains loaned and donated objects and images from local Beverley residents. These diverse and interesting collections of memorabilia relate to the social history of the town.
Built around 1832, the elegant Parlour Room houses a small collection of paintings by the renowned Beverley born artist Fred Elwell and his wife Mary Dawson Elwell. A donated collection of civic silver, including three silver-gilt ceremonial chains, can also be seen in the cabinets.
A Mayoral “bink” is considered to be one of the most unique items found within the Guildhall. The term “bink” is local dialect for “bench”, and dates back to 1604. This can be viewed in the Magistrate’s Room. Additionally, much of the original 17th and 18th century furniture can still be seen in the Guildhall.
The Guildhall will be open for the Festival of Christmas on Sunday 11th December 2016, between 10am and 3pm.
Please note that the Guildhall will be closed over Christmas and New Year.
Beverley Guildhall and Community Museum, Register Square, Beverley, East Yorkshire, HU17 9XX
Admittance to the Beverley Guildhall is free.
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