Browse the 9 events on offer
A screening of Olivier’s classic 1944 film
Learn how St John’s posthumous reputation was fuelled by rumours of oil oozing from his shrine!
Beverley Pilgrimage Trail: a free family activity for Half Term.
A talk spotlighting one of the town’s most significant royal connections
A talk and beer tasting with Dr Dawn Maskell on the science of brewing, featuring a selection of local craft ales.
Why there are 1300 scallop shells in Beverley for the festival
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Ideas, events, community, family, talks, film, real ale, & more. We celebrate the 1300th anniversary of St John of Beverley and the centuries of pilgrimage to our town. With something for everyone and a perfect way to kick off Half Term, we welcome you to Beverley 1300.
2021 is a monumental year for the town of Beverley. It marks 1300 years since the Anglo-Saxon bishop John of Beverley died, in the monastery which he founded here. By making Beverley (known then as Inderawuda) his final home, John changed the course of the town’s history. It is an amazing history which we celebrate through the vibrant array of events and activities on offer at this festival.
The story of John’s life is told by his friend Bede, often described as England’s First Historian. In his 8th-century ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’, Bede calls John a “wonderworker”, describing his miracles of healing. But it was after his death that St John acquired superhero and celebrity status: by the later Middle Ages his relics (which we believe survive to this day in the Minster) attracted pilgrims from far and wide, bringing prosperity to the town.
Free family activities
On Saturday 25th October, doors will be flung open at heritage sites across the town centre, from the North Bar to the historic barges on the Beck, for our free Pilgrimage Trail. Pick up your ‘Pilgrim Passport’ and get it stamped at each museum, gallery, and church on the trail to win a souvenir. Free event.
The scallop shell is an ancient symbol of pilgrimage. We see a scallop shell on the satchel of the 14th-century Pilgrim Hare in St Mary’s. As a nod to the town’s importance as a place of pilgrimage we have amassed 1300 scallop shells. Collect yours from St Mary’s Church any time during the festival and give it a person who is special to you or place it somewhere meaningful to you. Free event.
Beer & film
October is traditionally a month for beer festivals, and so the Saturday of the the festival culminates in a beer tasting and talk in St Mary’s Church by international brewing expert Dr Dawn Maskell, who was born in Beverley.
King Henry V of England visited the shrine of St John of Beverley 600 years ago, which makes 2021 a momentous double anniversary year for the town. We present a Sunday matinee screening of Laurence Olivier’s 1944 classic adaptation of Shakespeare’s epic play, Henry V.
Holy geyser! Pilgrimage expert, Dr John Jenkins, from the University of York, explores how St John’s posthumous reputation was fuelled by rumours of oil oozing from the shrine! Free event.
We welcome Henry V scholar, Professor Anne Curry, for her talk ‘From Agincourt to Beverley and back’. Henry won the battle of Agincourt on the Feast of the Translation of St John and attributed his victory to the saint.
David Switalla, foreman of the recent restoration works at St Mary’s Church completes our varied line-up of speakers with tales of his years spent as a journeyman in Germany to become a master stonemason. Free event.