‘Unequalled in England’
When looking upon St Mary’s west front, the great nineteenth-century church restorer, Sir Tatton Sykes exclaimed:
‘Lovely St Mary’s, unequalled in England and almost without rival on the continent of Europe!’
The west front is one of St Mary’s most eye-catching features. Built between the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries, the front contains twin pepper-pot turrets, a glorious window (now filled with nineteenth-century stained glass), and an elaborate doorway hosting a grand wooden door.
Having fallen into a disastrous state of disrepair, the turrets on the west front were restored and rebuilt in the nineteenth-century under the direction of A. W. N. Pugin.
The original fifteenth-century turrets appear to have been acquired by local interested parties, and to this day can still be found in the gardens of several properties in Beverley, including the offices of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
WHERE TO FIND THE WEST FRONT: looking towards St Mary’s, from North-Bar-Within