Beverley Medieval Guilds & Crafts Town Trail

To emphasise the rich of Beverley, the Beverley Medieval Guilds & Crafts Town Trail is designed to reveal glimpes of the town’s varied past.

Focusing on the medieval guilds that were the foundations of Beverley’s wealth, a series of public artworks have been installed to emphasise how crucial the skilled craftsmen of the town were.

By following any of the four walks that comprise the trail, the sheer breadth of the townspeople’s skills are revealed.

Installations show the role played by millers, musicians, bakers, blacksmiths, bricklayers, armourers and many other less well-known craftsmen in the growth of the town.

When completed, 39 works of art will reveal to locals and visitors alike just how Beverley became the hub of East Yorkshire trade and commerce, and why it is one of the most interesting and best-loved town’s in the north of England.

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Fletchers and Hatters sculptures

Trail - Fletchers and Hatters sculptures II

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This article has 4 Comments

  1. Today, 7 April, my sister and I visited Beverly specially to follow your recently unveiled Town Trail.

    Sad to say we were seriously underwhelmed.

    The ‘Ask Me’ desk at the Library seemed not to understand what it was we were looking for. The woman at the Reference Library seemed similarly unsure and suggested we visited Tourist Information. We did however find a leaflet in the library area before we left.

    We found it not at all easy to follow and despite diligent searching could not locate several of the artworks noted on the leaflet. Some of the pieces which appear on the website were not mentioned in the leaflet so we clearly missed those as well.

    The ones we did find were only interesting because of the accompanying information in the leaflt but many visitors to Beverley who stumble across them during their time in the town will be completely mystified as to what they are and why they are there. Each piece should have the accompanying explanation near to the piece of art.

    We realise that it is early days for the trail and look forward to returning when all the pieces are in place. It would be helpful to know whether we should expect to see the pieces at our feet, on a wall or way above our heads.

    I look forward to your comments.

  2. Dear Margaret,

    Many thanks for your e-mail and comments on the HU17 site, to which Paul Smith, its creator/owner had alerted me about a week ago.

    On behalf of the Trail Committee, I am sorry that you, and your sister were seriously underwhelmed, as much painstaking and professional creative, design and planning work has been undertaken by many of the Committee Members, no less than the sculptor and artist himself, and many visitors and groups have commented most favourably on their experiences.

    However, we are not unaware of some incomplete and unfulfilling hopes in our literature and information facilities.

    The original leaflet, and website were, unfortunately, rather rushed productions and did not meet with our total satisfaction, nor the delay in producing their successors, unfortunately due a variety of unforseen changes and situations by our marketing partners. Hopefully, by the time the final installations of the artworks are completed, at the end of May, this year, we will have much more clear and descriptive information in both mediums.

    I am grateful to you for pointing out your experiences at the Library, and aim to re-inform the principal personnel, to ensure a refreshed knowledge is presented to all staff members.

    The absence of explanation on each sculpture is deliberate, and was discussed at great length by our sculptor, historians, design team members, and other members of the Committee, in the planning stages. The artworks are intended to be a real sense of discovery, when people find them, and will lead them to seek further information from our current and future literature ,and other sources, including the Tourist Information Centre. What we wanted was a sense of participation, and to encourage a keen interest in the history of the town’s guilds, and crafts, and, consequently, the rich heritage of Beverley. Collectively, we intended an air of mystery and intrigue. A comment by a key member of the Heritage Lottery Fund, who visited the Trail a month ago, was that it is ” delightfully subtle”. However, we realise, at this stage, with the current leaflet, website to be re-built and considerable informative literature yet to be produced, that there is a measure of unfulfilment, and we are sorry that you, and your sister, did not enjoy your Trail visit as much as you may have anticipated, and hoped for.

    All the committee members, historians, designers, artists and soforth, are all volunteers, and all have been engrossed and contributive to creating the Trail. We have taken into consideration their involvement, and results, of working with many community groups, and the seven hundred primary school pupils who studied the guilds in 2008, many of whom will be performers in the Launch Day Events, when the Trail is officially opened to the community, on Sunday 11th July, this year.

    I do hope my reply is helpful, and I will ensure that your comments, and suggestions, are presented to the Trail Committee members. I am confident they will be valued and considered with thanks.

    Yours sincerely,

    Ray Grange

  3. Being in Beverley for a short weekend we picked up a a guide from the Tourist Information regarding the history walks around the town, (by the way the ladies in T.I. were very helpful.) Deciding to go for a walk after dinner on the Sunday night we took along with us the guide of historic Bevereley. Just setting off from the Beverley Hotel we were having trouble finding the chain mail! when a delightful young man who was getting out of a taxi came to ask if we needed help, he then went on to explain the tour. I wish more towns had young people like this who was not only helpful but more so, he was really proud of his town. Thankyou Beverley, we will be back.

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