St Mary's Church, Beverley

making disciples

Bosses brochure out now

Today, we publish ‘Curious Carvings: The Roof Bosses of St Mary’s Beverley’. Written by Dr Jennie England, the book provides interpretations of thirty of the Tudor and medieval bosses which adorn the church’s ceilings. St Mary’s collection of over 600 intricate, colourful and curious roof bosses is one of its greatest, but least recognised and understood, features.

Front cover of the book

Rich in colour, the book features ultra high definition photographs of the bosses, showing these magnificent carvings in more detail than has ever been seen before.

King and bishop holding a scroll, one of the bosses featured in the book

Introducing this extraordinary heritage, Dr England writes:

The number of roof bosses in St Mary’s is astonishing. St Mary’s has many more than other churches in the region including Beverley Minster, Selby Abbey, and York Minster. It is not solely the number of bosses that makes them significant, but the rich and remarkable variety of their subjects. We find curious figures with strange and distorted faces, along with hybrid animals, part human, part beast. We can spot kings and bishops, and saints positioned next to depictions of demons. Always visible are the faces of men and women appearing in simple domestic scenes, capturing everyday life.

‘Curious Carvings: The Roof Bosses of St Mary’s Beverley’ is available to purchase in church for £5. Buy your copy of the first edition now.

The release of this 42-page book is a milestone in the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project to save and interpret the bosses. Click the button below to find out more about the project:

What do these carvings mean, and why are they here? The book is a perfect starting point to answering these questions.

“In the bosses we find marvels and mysteries, and a direct link to the people who worshipped in St Mary’s half a millennium ago.

Dr Jennie England
Fox preaching to geese, one of the bosses featured in the book
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