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Beverley Minster - minstrel carving double flute | by Spen Valley Wanderer
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Beverley Minster - minstrel carving double flute

Medieval Beverley was a renowned centre for secular music, and its guild of musicians was particularly powerful. It controlled all the minstrels in the north of England, and provided minstrels to serve as the 'waits' (watchmen) of the town. Three of the guild's ceremonial chains are on display in the town's guildhall. For a closer view of these medieval musicians and their instruments, visit Beverley Minster to marvel at the largest collection of minstrel carvings in the world. Dating from the fourteenth century, there are over seventy figures playing around twenty different early musical instruments, including bagpipes, harp, percusion instruments like the tambourine and drums, fiddles, viols, lutes, portable organs and a hurdy-gurdy, a psaltery (type of harp) and shawms (woodwind instrument).


Beverley maintains its musical heritage with its annual Early Music Festival, held in May.


For more information, visit

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Taken on May 17, 2009