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Church History

The original St. Nicholas Church dates back at least to the 12th century, possibly of Norman architecture, built in Holme Church Lane, opposite the site of the present Church in what was known as Osiers Yard. Certainly the church with a priest was in existence by c. 1160. The ministry of St. Nicholas was largely confined to the Grovehill and Beckside industries of tanneries and boatmen (Neave 1996, 40). The Church fell into disrepair and was demolished between 1653-55 in part as a consequence of the Civil War. Archaeological remains of the original church (Miller et al 1982, 47-48) were found to include a chancel, transepts, aisled nave and a west tower. Part of the tower helped to repair St Mary’s Church and the Minster at the end of the 17th century (Allison 1989, 240-241). There is a good account of how St.Nicholas Church fits within the wider picture of Beverley at British History Online (see below): 

A parish without a church! Parish boundary taken from the 1832 Boundary Map

The present church was consecrated on the the 3rd August 1880. This was in memorial to the family of Lord Wolverton for an initial £6,000. The final building overan this budget even after substantial scaling down of architectural ambitions. The final plans were drawn up by Mr. Broderick employing Simpsons and Malone for the build alongside Elwell of Beverley for the woodwork. This design re-used a font (c.1450) originally thought to be from the ancient St.Nicholas Church, though later ideas suggest it's most likely origin to be the Dominican Friary. The church seated 350 people and the first vicar was the Hon & Revd. F.G.Pelham.

Modern Refurbishments

The project to make the interior of the Church building more accessible to the needs of the parish was completed in September 2012. This started with a new heating system, installed in September 2007, followed by improved toilet and refreshment facilities, redesigned worship area, and entrance. The organ loft was converted into a new vestry and meeting room in Autumn 2011.  Finally the re-ordering of the chancel was completed at the end of 2012.


  1. Allison, K 1989 “Churches”. In Allison, K (ed) A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume VI The Borough and Liberties of Beverley, 231-241

  2. Miller, K, Robinson, J, English, B & Hall, I 1982 Beverley: An Archaeological and Architectural Study (RCHM Supplementary Series no 4)

  3. Naeve, S., Ellis, S, 1996. An Historical Atlas of East Yorkshire. Hull University Press, 40



  6. For a full account of the consecration - have a look at this Beverley Guardian article of the day (reproduced by kind permission)

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