St Mary's Church, Beverley

making disciples

13th-14th century: a period of rapid growth

St Mary’s emerges as the town’s church

In the 250 years following its foundation, the church grew substantially in size.

Between 1185-1225, north and south transepts were added, and the chancel lengthened.

By the end of the fourteenth century the footprint of the church was much like that we see today: this included the addition of three new adjoining chapels, a crypt, an eye-catching west front, and clerestories in the nave.

A crowning achievement in this building work was the construction of the glorious St Michael’s Chapel, a masterpiece of English Gothic art.

St Mary’s growth was helped in large part by the generous donations it received from the townspeople.

In 1377 Beverley was the 11th most populous town in England. It was a centre for wool, cloth, and leather trade, and home to many wealthy merchants.


St Mary’s was a clear favourite among the citizens of Beverley – numerous local guilds held strong connections with the church, and their benefaction was instrumental in the church’s growth across this period.

It is this preference among the populace that marked out St Mary’s as the ‘Town’s Church’, a status it still enjoys to this day.


This entry was posted on January 2, 2020 by in .