The Medieval Art and Architecture Day was held on 24th November 2005 and was the first conference to be held by the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust. It was a great success and an ideal opportunity for members of the group to meet one another and share ideas.The speaker, Mr Pat McLaughlin is the Local Heritage Officer of the Rotherham Churches Tourism Initiative, a similar organisation to our own, which was set up in 1999. Pat McLaughlin was obviously fascinated by his subject and gave a very interesting slideshow and talk about medieval art and architecture and how to recognise the different historical periods from Saxon times to the Reformation. After lunch the delegates merely had to cross the road from the Beverley Arms Hotel, where the conference was held, to the Parish Church of St Mary, Beverley, where Canon Hoskin and the wardens very kindly allowed us to view the resplendent medieval artefacts present within St Mary's church.
St Mary's is one of the grandest parish churches in the country, and certainly one of the most visually appealing. Reflecting the development of architectural style from the mid-twelfth century to the fifteenth century, St Mary's is a delight with plenty to see.
Our party was treated to the best in medieval ornamental decoration including the painted panels of English kings on the chancel ceiling largely dating from 1445, the series of 28 misericords in the choir stalls and the minstrels carved and painted atop their pier in the nave, which they donated the funds to build.
The picture is of the Minstrel's Pillar of 1524. The Guild of Minstrels met in Beverley at Rogationtide each year to choose an Alderman. The Alderman's chain, a beautiful piece of fifteenth century silverwork, is now part of Beverley's civic regalia and can be seen depicted in stone on one of the minstrels.