A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6, the Borough and Liberties of Beverley. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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From the Middle Ages Beverley relied for its water upon a host of private wells and some common wells maintained by the town, like those in the high street (alta via), Saturday Market, and Walkergate. (fn. 1) Celia Fiennes was impressed by the number of wells in the streets when she visited Beverley in 1697. (fn. 2) The maintenance of public wells and pumps was in 1691 assigned to the constables of the wards, who were empowered to lay a rate for the purpose, and the order was reaffirmed in 1721 with two householders in each ward replacing the constables, who had neglected the work and misapplied the rate. (fn. 3) The provision and repair of pumps and the sinking of new wells by the corporation were often mentioned from the late 17th to the early 19th century; public pumps and wells included those in Copenkeld Lane, at Cross bridge, in Hengate, in Minster Moorgate, in North Bar Within, in Norwood, at Potter Hill, in Saturday Market, in Slutt Well Lane, and at the Willows near North bar. A 'pump rate' was several times recorded and on one occasion, in 1795, the collection and employment of the money was let to two men for 7 years at £7 a year. (fn. 4)
The provision of an ample water supply, to flush sewers and cleanse drains as well as for household use, was one of the remedies proposed in 1850 to improve the sanitary condition of the town. (fn. 5) The local board of health formed in 1851 decided two years later only to maintain the existing public pumps, which it thereafter did. (fn. 6) An attempt was made to establish a private waterworks in 1873, but it was opposed by the corporation and the ratepayers, and the Bill was rejected in parliament after the corporation had indicated that it would undertake the work itself. (fn. 7) Nothing was done by the corporation, however, (fn. 8) and another private attempt to promote a waterworks Bill in 1881 was successful. It was said that there were then c. 300 private and 40 public pumps in the town. (fn. 9) The same year the Beverley Waterworks Co. started to sink a borehole and build a reservoir on a 2-a. site in Beverley Parks, near the Victoria whiting works, and the supply of water began in 1883. (fn. 10) An outbreak of typhoid fever in Beverley in 1884 was attributed to contamination of the water by sewage from the nearby East Riding lunatic asylum; the offending sewerage works were promptly removed. Besides the borough supply water was provided for the whiting works, the asylum, and the Victoria barracks, and carts took water to several nearby villages. To meet the growing demand a second borehole was sunk and the first one deepened in 1899-1900. (fn. 11)
After further outbreaks of fever and diarrhoea in the town it was found in 1905 that the water was again being contaminated by sewage, probably from the village of Walkington. The company decided to lay pipes in Autherd drain to carry the sewage past the waterworks. (fn. 12) Nevertheless, as a result of that threat to the supply the corporation bought the waterworks in 1907 and sought another site for a borehole. (fn. 13) Eventually, in 1911, it was decided to retain the existing works and use mechanical filters for purification. (fn. 14) The insufficiency of the supply led in 1943 to the laying of a main from Dunswell to Beverley and part of the town's supply was thereafter provided by Hull corporation. (fn. 15) In 1948 the supply from the Beverley works was found to be contaminated by surface water. An emergency supply was provided from Dunswell, and it was decided the same year to abandon the waterworks and take all supplies permanently from Hull corporation. (fn. 16) Water was at first supplied by Hull in bulk but in 1963 Beverley was taken within the area of direct supply. (fn. 17)
The improvement commissioners, who had been designated in 1808, decided in 1824 that the town should be lit with gas and works were built that year by John Malam on a site of ⅓ a. beside Hull Road, near the beck. (fn. 18) Supply began the same year and in the late 1820s gas was used by nearly 100 private consumers, as well as for street lights. (fn. 19) The commissioners agreed to buy the works in 1828 and began to manage them that year, although the sale was not completed until 1829. (fn. 20) Management passed to the local board of health in 1851 and to the corporation in 1872. (fn. 21)
Annual consumption rose rapidly after the mid century, from c. 10 million cu. ft. in 1855 to 19 in 1865, over 28 in 1875, and 40 in 1885. (fn. 22) The works were periodically improved to meet that demand. The original gasholder had a storage capacity of 15,000 cu. ft. and a second one, built in 1846, held 45,000. Enlargement of the site by 1¾ a. in 1866 enabled a third holder, taking 140,000 cu. ft., to be built the next year and there were further improvements in 1876. Another holder, with a capacity of 157,000 cu. ft., was built in 1887; both the small holders had by then become redundant. (fn. 23)
After nationalization in 1948 the Beverley works came under the control of the North Eastern Gas Board and the production of gas was ended in 1951-2; gas was then supplied from works in Hull until 1968, when Beverley went over to North Sea gas. (fn. 24) The holders were later removed. The surviving fabric of the gasworks includes the Greek revival gateway. (fn. 25) A gas showroom was opened in 1931; it was closed in 1943 but replaced in 1945. (fn. 26)
The corporation obtained a provisional order in 1901 to enable it to supply electricity to the town, (fn. 27) but it was not until 1930 that Beverley enjoyed electricity. Hull corporation's area of supply was extended to include Beverley in 1929 and electricity was 'switched in' late the next year. Power was taken overhead from Hull alongside the railway line to Flemingate, and thence underground to a sub-station in Grovehill Road. At the same time a showroom was opened but it was closed in 1933; (fn. 28) another was acquired in 1957. (fn. 29)
Street Paving, Repair, and Lighting
The cost of street paving in Beverley in the Middle Ages was met partly from tolls on goods brought to the town. The collection of tolls was first authorized in 1249, to run for five years, and 31 further pavage grants were made by the Crown, the last of them, in 1483, having no time limit. (fn. 30) Bequests were also made for the streets, and gifts and subscriptions were received, especially for those roads leading out of Beverley for which the town took no responsibility. (fn. 31) Work done in the streets is recorded from 1344. A town paver was employed and money was spent on 'white stone' or chalk, sand, gravel, and cobbles. In some streets there were paved footways alongside the causeways, and attempts were made to prevent damage to both causeways and pavements by iron-shod carts. (fn. 32) In 1596 occupiers were ordered to make the pavements in front of their houses as far as the gutters, without obstructing the free passage of water, (fn. 33) and that was evidently the normal practice thereafter. (fn. 34) The use of flagstones for the pavements was first mentioned in 1786, and 'flagging' was usually carried out at the expense of householders, sometimes with corporation help by subscription or workmanship. (fn. 35) The repair of some roads leading out of the town was done at the expense of the parishes; (fn. 36) in certain cases residents and corporation shared the cost, as with North Bar Without in 1779, (fn. 37) and the corporation continued to be at least partly responsible for the main roads leading to Holderness and Hessle. (fn. 38) Under the Acts of 1727 and 1745 tolls collected at the beck could be used for the repair of roads leading from the beck and the river to the town, (fn. 39) but in the late 18th century they were sometimes used for other streets as well; the legality of that practice was called in question in 1792, and only the surplus of the beck fund was so used in 1816. (fn. 40) From 1838, however, the beck committee was wholly responsible for street repairs. (fn. 41) In 1850 the corporation was said to pave or pitch the streets and flag the footways (fn. 42) and those responsibilities passed to the local board of health the next year. The local board was told that in the past the beck committee's liberal interpretation of the Acts had enabled all streets in the town to be repaired from the beck funds but that those funds were insufficient for the footways. The board decided in 1853 that the beck committee should continue with its old powers and duties. (fn. 43) From 1855 the corporation appointed a paving and flagging committee but in 1860 its duties were assigned to the beck committee, (fn. 44) later in turn the beck and highway committee and the beck, highway, and drainage committee. (fn. 45)
An adequate system of lighting was introduced after the corporation was designated lighting and watching commissioners under an Act of 1808. (fn. 46) About 200 oil lamps were contracted for, to burn from 5 October to 5 April, and some at least were in place late that year; by June 1809 there were 196 lamps and 48 more were proposed. It was decided in 1824 to introduce gas lighting, with 150 lamps burning for 150 nights a year. Installation was in progress that year, but because of doubts about the commissioners' powers to use gas another Act was obtained in 1825. (fn. 47) Some iron lamp posts were installed from the start and others were ordered to be substituted for wooden ones in 1826. (fn. 48) Some of the original iron standards survived in 1988. (fn. 49) The number of lamps was steadily increased and by 1851 there were 191, lit for 207 nights a year. (fn. 50) Responsibility for lighting passed to the local board of health in 1851 and to the corporation in 1872. (fn. 51) In 1908 there were 423 lamps. (fn. 52) Lighting continued to be by gas until the Second World War, when there were 582 street lamps. Because of the repairs needed after the war electric lighting was introduced c. 1945. (fn. 53)
Street Cleansing and Refuse Disposal
From the Middle Ages some public places were cleansed by the town; in 1446, for example, a cleanser of the markets and the pavements at the beck was appointed. (fn. 54) By the 16th century householders were apparently responsible for cleansing in front of their own property, (fn. 55) and that continued in the 18th century. A town scavenger was appointed in 1709 at the expense of subscribers rather than the corporation; twice a week he was to collect rubbish that had been heaped in the middle of the street by householders. (fn. 56) Under the beck Act of 1727 the town's J.P.s were empowered to appoint men to cleanse the streets and to raise assessments to meet the cost. The assessments proved inadequate, however, and the beck Act of 1745 confirmed a return to the system of cleansing by owners and occupiers. (fn. 57) Householders were ordered in 1783 to sweep the streets once a fortnight from Michaelmas to Lady Day, and if they failed to do so they were to meet the charges of the scavengers who did it for them. (fn. 58) By 1795 scavenging was done by contract, which was given that year to a man who proposed to sweep the streets in return for the sweepings. (fn. 59) The J.P.s appointed a man in 1805 to supervise cleansing by householders, a list of whom was drawn up to show the footage for which they were responsible, street by street. (fn. 60) From 1808 the lighting and watching commissioners were responsible for seeing that householders swept the pavements at least once a week, that no rubbish was left in the streets, and that 'necessary houses' were emptied only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The commissioners also occasionally arranged for the streets to be watered. (fn. 61) In 1840 the management of street sweeping was ordered to be left with the beck committee and it became the practice for the mayor periodically to order the streets to be swept and to appoint a scavenger. (fn. 62)
Responsibility for cleansing streets and dealing with nuisances passed to the local board of health in 1851 and an inspector of nuisances was appointed in 1855. (fn. 63) In that year a man was again employed to sweep when instructed by the mayor, but in 1859 and 1860 he was appointed scavenger for the year. (fn. 64) The sweeping of streets, the emptying of cesspools, and the watering of the main streets from New Walk to Beckside were contracted out for £50 a year in 1862. The agreement was ended after a few months, however, and the same year the board protested that it could not afford to cleanse the streets properly; householders were again to cleanse in front of their property, with scavengers employed as needed. (fn. 65) In 1887 the corporation decided to undertake the removal of night-soil, and from 1891 contractors were appointed for that and house refuse. (fn. 66) The contractors had no difficulty in dumping night-soil outside the borough, as their contracts required, but in the 20th century dumps for dry refuse were not easily found. (fn. 67) In 1930 the corporation bought a disused brickyard in Swinemoor Lane as a tip and the next year it began its own collection of night-soil and refuse. (fn. 68) Horse-drawn refuse carts were replaced by motor vehicles in 1949. (fn. 69) The tip was enlarged in 1957 but a new one at Hoggard House farm, Weel, was provided in 1964. (fn. 70)
Drainage and Sewage Disposal
From the Middle Ages the town was drained by numerous open sewers which flowed into Walker beck and which were cleansed by the owners and occupiers of adjoining property. The town council shared that responsibility, as well as dealing with common sewers like the watering place in Keldgate, near the minster. The council punished offenders, and pains were laid on such crafts as the butchers to discourage the throwing of filth into the sewers. (fn. 71) In 1807 the corporation appointed an officer to repair all drains and sewers, but his appointment was revoked the next year. (fn. 72) During the 18th and early 19th century individual householders were given leave to cover or 'arch over' sewers next to their houses, sometimes building over the arch as well; (fn. 73) occasionally the expense was shared by the corporation. (fn. 74) In a few cases leave was given for householders to make drains from their houses to the sewers, provided that the pavement was made good. (fn. 75)
The inadequacy of the sewers and their contribution to the high incidence of disease and mortality in the town were set out in reports to the corporation in 1848 (fn. 76) and to the General Board of Health in 1850. (fn. 77) The principal sewer, in parts still open, ran from Bar dike, near North bar, into Walker beck and thence across the middle of the town to join Mill Dam drain, in Long Lane. The obstruction of the last-named drain, on its way to Beverley beck, by the water mill rendered the sewer almost useless. Other large open sewers ran from Highgate and Wilbert Lane into Beverley beck, the former of them taking effluent from the tanneries in Flemingate. Most of the smaller sewers were also open, there was scarcely any street sewerage, and there was no house drainage at all apart from privies and open cesspools. In 1853 the local board of health formed two years earlier decided to maintain the existing sewers and not to consider their replacement by a new system. Reports of the insanitary conditions prevailing were made later in 1853 and many small-scale improvements were subsequently made by the board. (fn. 78) Another report in 1865 revealed that the basic problems remained, (fn. 79) but schemes submitted in 1874 (fn. 80) and 1885 (fn. 81) were rejected by the corporation.
In 1886 a scheme drawn up by B. S. Brundell was adopted. Brundell proposed a main gravitational sewer through the middle of the town as far as Molescroft Road, with various branches, a low level sewer from Pighill Lane around the north-eastern side of the town, again with branches, an outfall works on the south side of Beverley beck, with an effluent drain to the river Hull, and the use of adjoining land for the deposit of residual sludge; he also proposed that surface water should be carried in the existing sewers. An 8½-a. site was bought for the outfall works and the engine house there was begun in 1888. The scheme was completed and the works in full use by December the next year. (fn. 82) The notoriously unsanitary Walker beck continued, however, to carry sewage and in 1893 it was proposed that it should be used only for storm water. Action to divert house sewage from the beck to the sewers was nevertheless still being taken in 1908. (fn. 83)
Improvements to the sewerage system in the early 20th century included the introduction, on an experimental basis, of the bacteriological treatment of sewage in 1903, (fn. 84) and works were carried out in 1922-3 to enable tannery effluent to be dealt with more effectively. (fn. 85) Besides that of the borough, sewage from parts of Molescroft and Beverley Parks was taken into the system. (fn. 86) Sludge from the treatment works was spread on Figham, close by, and the need to use larger areas of the pasture was a recurring problem. (fn. 87) The construction of new treatment works on the same site began in 1967 and the works were completed in 1970-1. (fn. 88) Work on a new high level sewerage scheme began in 1979 and was completed in 1982; it included the laying of a new trunk sewer south of the town, the extension of the treatment works, and the building of a drainage and storm water pumping station on Figham, near the mouth of Beverley beck. (fn. 89)
Until the 19th century the policing of the town was carried out by the constables appointed for the wards, supervised by a high constable from 1815, and by the serjeants who served the mayor and the courts. (fn. 90) In the 17th century watch and ward were employed in time of danger, (fn. 91) and in the 18th and early 19th century the corporation rewarded individuals who gave assistance. (fn. 92) Public initiative was also encouraged by associations like the Beverley Association for the Prosecution of Felons, established c. 1788, (fn. 93) and the Beverley Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade, founded in 1834, which amalgamated in 1838 to form a society which survived into the 20th century. (fn. 94)
The lighting and watching Act of 1808 empowered the commissioners to appoint watchmen, (fn. 95) but they did not immediately do so. The corporation agreed in 1812 to meet the expenses of 12 constables who had been appointed by the magistrates to keep watch three nights a week from 1 November that year. (fn. 96) In 1821 the improvement commissioners exercised their powers and appointed 12 watchmen to do duty from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night; the existing guardhouse, probably in the guildhall, (fn. 97) was to be the central watchhouse and coats, lanterns, and rattles provided by subscription the previous year were to be handed over to the watchmen. The commissioners later havered over the need for watchmen and reduced their numbers but nevertheless continued to appoint them until 1835. (fn. 98)
The corporation went some way towards satisfying the requirements of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835 (fn. 99) by appointing a watch committee the next year. The 24 constables appointed in 1836 to keep night watch, of whom seven at a time were to be on duty, (fn. 100) nevertheless hardly constituted the police force envisaged by the Act. A superintendent or inspector of the night constables was appointed in 1837, and the corporation protested the efficiency of its force when it opposed the County Police Bill of 1839. Additional men were employed when required, as in 1844 when two extra constables were paid to help on Sunday evenings. (fn. 101) The three serjeants at mace constituted the day police. (fn. 102) The night watchmen were increased to eight in 1854. The police superintendent, who was also inspector of nuisances and common lodging houses and collector of the watch rate, was said in 1855 to supervise the constables, parish officers, serjeants at mace, and watchmen. On his recommendation several improvements were made that year, including the elevation of one of the watchmen to the rank of sergeant. (fn. 103)
Beverley shared the opposition of the boroughs to the abortive police Bill of 1854, which would have deprived them of their forces, (fn. 104) but the County and Borough Police Act of 1856 brought the Beverley force under government scrutiny. The watch committee promptly ordered that the duties of parish constables were thereafter to be performed by the superintendent, the serjeants at mace, and the night watchmen, and it took note of the provision in the Act that constables should not receive fees. The appropriation of a room at the guildhall for a police office the same year may also have been prompted by the Act. (fn. 105) The government inspector who visited Beverley in 1857 stated nevertheless that the force was not of the character contemplated by the 1835 Act. (fn. 106) In 1859 the force comprised superintendent, sergeant, two day police, and six watchmen. (fn. 107) Government approval and grant were eventually obtained in 1862, when a new superintendent was appointed and further changes were made including the reconstitution of the force as sergeant and three constables for day duty and sergeant and four constables for night duty, with another constable in reserve. (fn. 108) The superintendent was given charge of the borough prison, next to the guildhall, in 1863 (fn. 109) and that became the police station. (fn. 110) In 1866 increases in pay were effected by reducing the number of constables to 7, but it was made up to 8 again in 1875 and increased to 10 in 1886, 11 in 1896, and 12 in 1900. By 1928 the strength was chief constable, inspector, 3 sergeants, and 14 constables. (fn. 111)
In 1928 the borough police force was merged with the East Riding constabulary, which had its headquarters at the sessions house. The old borough office was retained as a divisional station; it was altered in 1928-9 and additional accommodation was provided in Holland House nearby. (fn. 112) In 1983 the former borough station was found to be structurally unsafe and its occupants were moved to the county station; (fn. 113) part of the old building was demolished in 1985.
A crook and chain for pulling down burning houses were mentioned in 1541-2 and 1556-7. (fn. 114) Buckets and fire hooks were ordered to be bought in 1666 and 1674, on the latter occasion 24 buckets and four hooks, half to be provided by the corporation and kept in the minster and town hall and half to be provided by the churchwardens of St. Mary's church and kept there In 1681 people who 'watched' at a fire were rewarded by the corporation, and grappling irons were ordered to be bought for the future. (fn. 115) The town's first fire engine was evidently that given by a Mr. Fotherby in 1725, and buckets were bought the next year with money given by the M.P.s for Beverley. It was also decided in 1726 to employ 12 men to work the engine and to reward them when they did so, and 30 buckets were to be hung in each church. (fn. 116) From 1755 the cost of using the engine for fires at minster property was charged to the minster funds. (fn. 117) Engines were later kept in the minster and St. Mary's church under the control and at the expense of the corporation. In 1831 it became necessary to buy a new engine, the corporation contributing £21 to a special subscription. A management committee, comprising the churchwardens of St. Mary's and representatives of the corporation and the insurance companies, was formed the same year and it decided to lease an engine house, appoint an engineer and 23 firemen, reward others who helped at fires, recoup expenses from those who benefited, and maintain the engines from the original subscription. From 1832 the only income was £2 7s. given each year by the corporation, but in 1841 additional subscriptions were obtained and St. Mary's churchwardens provided a house rentfree for the engines. By 1854 the arrangements made in 1831 were neglected, and while the old and new engines at St. Mary's were in good repair the two at the minster were derelict. (fn. 118)
In 1861 a corporation committee appointed to inquire into the state of the engines reported to the local board of health that two more had been provided in the town, one belonging to William Crosskill's trustees and the other at Grovehill; the board was evidently considering the establishment of a fire brigade. (fn. 119) In 1862 the subscription engine was moved to the prison. The corporation, which had renewed its annual payment in 1854, increased it to £3 in 1863. By 1867 there were five engines: the subscription engine, then kept at the guildhall, the large minster engine, then at Crosskill's foundry, a small engine at the minster, the Beverley Iron & Waggon Company's engine, and the Grovehill engine. (fn. 120) The local board proposed that year to take over the management of the subscription engine from the fire engine committee. (fn. 121) In 1881 the subscription engine, which was then kept at the police office, was described as the town's only engine. (fn. 122)
The superintendent of police, Henry Knight, proposed in 1875 that a fire brigade should be established, (fn. 123) and by 1885 Beverley had a volunteer brigade with Knight as its superintendent; it comprised the police force and 12 volunteers. A new engine was bought by subscription in 1886 and it was decided to keep the old one at the gasworks, to serve the works and that part of the town. (fn. 124) A new manual engine was bought by the corporation in 1920 and presented to the volunteer brigade. (fn. 125) A professional fire brigade was formed in 1924 comprising nine men, including the chief constable as captain. A motor fire engine was bought that year and a station to house it was constructed from unused police cells at the guildhall. The brigade was to fight all fires in the borough and in Beverley rural district. (fn. 126) Following the merger of the borough and county police forces in 1928 the police superintendent in charge of Beverley became captain of the fire brigade, responsible to the chief constable of the East Riding, who was made senior officer of the brigade. (fn. 127)
From 1938 the brigade was supplemented by auxiliary firemen, but in 1941 it became part of the National Fire Service. The fire station was moved from the guildhall to the municipal offices in Lairgate in 1942. (fn. 128) After the war the brigade was not returned to the control of the borough, and the town was served by the newly formed East Riding county brigade from 1947. A headquarters station at Beverley was to serve the borough and 19 nearby civil parishes, and the former drill hall in Albert Terrace was converted for the purpose in 1950-1. (fn. 129) The premises at the municipal offices were, however, retained for use by the Auxiliary Fire Service. (fn. 130) Responsibility passed to Humberside county council in 1974. The county station was replaced by a new building, in New Walkergate, opened in 1983. (fn. 131)
The churchyards of St. Mary's and the minster were closed in 1859 and 1861 respectively; St. Mary's had already provided a small additional burial ground in 1829 (fn. 132) but there was urgent need for new grounds for all parishes. With the closures impending a cemetery company was formed in 1858 to provide a ground for the whole town, but it was wound up the next year when a joint burial board was set up for the parishes of St. Martin and St. John. (fn. 133) Because of opposition from St. John's, however, separate grounds were acquired for St. Martin's and St. John's in 1860, and in 1864 St. Mary's was provided for by the gift of another ground. (fn. 134)
Concern about the space available in the existing grounds, especially in that of St. Mary's parish, caused the corporation to take over the St. Martin's burial board and ground in 1904 and to provide a new cemetery for the town. (fn. 135) An 8-a. site in Queensgate was bought in 1905 and 2 a. of it was consecrated in 1907. (fn. 136) Another part of it was used for burials from the East Riding lunatic asylum, in Walkington parish, from 1911. (fn. 137) The rest was not opened until 1919, when it was needed for burials from St. Mary's parish. (fn. 138) In 1926 one of the chapels in St. Martin's burial ground was taken down and the materials used to build a chapel in the cemetery. (fn. 139)
Spa and Baths
A well on Swine Moor was ordered in 1684 to be prepared for a drinking and bathing spa, (fn. 140) and soon afterwards it received favourable comment. (fn. 141) In 1747 an earlier building was replaced by a new house and for a time the house and wells were let by the corporation. (fn. 142) From 1772 a keeper was paid instead but that practice was last mentioned in 1816 (fn. 143) and the spa became defunct.
A bathing house which John Hoggard built in Flemingate in 1758, and which was mentioned again in 1788, (fn. 144) may have been for public use. In 1868 Samuel Findlater, a plumber and glazier, opened public baths at his premises in Toll Gavel; (fn. 145) they were evidently individual baths and not long in existence. An outdoor swimming bath was constructed by subscription on Swine Moor in 1874. It was proposed in 1882 to replace the bath with one nearer the centre of the town and the pasture masters were authorized to do away with it in 1884, but it evidently still existed in the 1890s. (fn. 146) Swimming and slipper baths formed part of a large building, also housing the corn exchange and butter market, that was built in Saturday Market in 1886. The baths, which were at the back of the building and entered from Ladygate, were opened in April the next year. (fn. 147) They were replaced by new baths in Mill Lane in 1973. (fn. 148)
Public Gardens and Recreation Grounds
The town has several small gardens. In 1917 Clive Wilson (d. 1921) gave the site of St. Mary's House, Hengate, to the corporation to be kept as a public open space and in 1922 his executors fulfilled his intention to provide for its upkeep by handing over £500. The town's war memorial was erected there. (fn. 149) Ground next to the public library in Champney Road was given to the corporation by J. E. Champney in 1928 to be made into a public garden, which was opened in 1930. (fn. 150) A former burial ground of St. Mary's parish in North Bar Within was converted to the Coronation Garden in 1955. (fn. 151)
A recreation ground in Mill Lane was opened in 1884 on a 4-a. site bought by J. H. Hobson. (fn. 152) In 1893 it included a cycling track, as well as cricket, football, and tennis grounds, but part of it was sold in 1912 and it later provided facilities for only bowling and tennis. (fn. 153) It was sold in 1932 (fn. 154) and built upon.
Norwood Park recreation ground was opened in 1909 on 6½ a. of a 12-a. site bought by J. A. Dunkerly. It provided facilities for bowls, cricket, and tennis. (fn. 155) In 1948 the whole site was sold to the Beverley Town Cricket & Recreational Club. (fn. 156)
Postal, Telegraph, and Telephone Services
The postmaster of Beverley was mentioned in 1682 (fn. 157) and the post office, usually in Toll Gavel, was recorded from 1766. (fn. 158) The office was moved in 1852 to Register Square, where it occupied two premises, settling in a house on the corner of Cross Street in 1866. (fn. 159) It was next moved to a purpose-built office in Register Square, erected in 1905 but not owned by the Post Office until 1960. (fn. 160) Two sub-offices in the town were opened in 1852 but closed for reasons of economy in 1860. Two more were opened in the 188os, two in the 1890s, and three in the 20th century, of which five remained in 1987. (fn. 161)
A telegraph office was opened in Register Square by the United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Co. in 1864; it was later in North Bar Within. (fn. 162) By 1872 the Post Office operated a telegraph service from Cross Street. (fn. 163)
The National Telephone Co. opened its exchange, in Toll Gavel, in 1896. (fn. 164) The service was taken over by Hull corporation in 1914. (fn. 165) A manual exchange, in Lairgate, was opened in 1924 and an extension to the building, in Newbegin, has housed an automatic exchange since 1956. (fn. 166)
Hospital Services and Homes
With the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948 the two hospitals then existing in Beverley, the Dispensary and Cottage Hospital and Westwood Hospital, together with the Tuberculosis Dispensary, came under the control of the East Riding Group Hospital Management Committee, within the Leeds Region. From 1974 they were in the Beverley Health District of the Humberside Area Health Authority, within the Yorkshire Region, and from 1982 in the East Yorkshire Health District, within the Yorkshire Region. (fn. 167) One other hospital, that for smallpox patients, had ceased to exist before 1948.
The Dispensary and Cottage Hospital.
In 1782 the corporation agreed to subscribe £10 10s. a year to an intended dispensary, (fn. 168) but no more is known of it. William Wilson, by will proved in 1816, left the residue of his estate to the corporation to use for some charitable purpose, and in 1817 it was decided to spend £50 a year on medicines for 'Wilson's dispensary'. (fn. 169) In 1823 the mayor, Thomas Hull, M.D., took the lead in the establishment of a more permanent institution. A building in Lairgate was leased and the corporation agreed to subscribe £27 6s. a year from Wilson's charity to the new dispensary. In the first year, 1823-4, 517 patients were admitted. It was reported in 1826 that the funds had been invested in £300 stock, and in 1828 a new building was erected in Register Square. (fn. 170) Up to 1880 the largest number of patients admitted in a year was 2,244. (fn. 171) In 1886 the charity was consolidated with the Cottage Hospital and the dispensary building was vacated that year. (fn. 172)
The Cottage Hospital was established in 1878; a house in Norwood, previously used as a hospital for the East Yorkshire Militia when it was billeted in Beverley, was then leased for inpatients from the dispensary. It provided six beds. (fn. 173) The erection of a new dispensary and hospital, designed by Smith & Brodrick of Hull, was begun in Morton Lane in 1885 and the plain red-brick building was opened the next year. (fn. 174) It contained 14 beds. (fn. 175) Extensions to the hospital were opened in 1933. (fn. 176) The hospital provided 20 beds in 1948, increased to 30 c. 1980. (fn. 177) Houses devised to the dispensary and hospital by Thomas Duffill (d. 1893) and Mary Lancaster (d. 1940) were sold in 1941 and 1943. (fn. 178)
The Smallpox Hospital.
An isolation hospital for smallpox patients was erected near Queensgate in 1899; it was a temporary wooden building and provided six beds. (fn. 179) On several occasions, when disease threatened, the building was put into repair. (fn. 180) Arrangements were also made, however, for Beverley patients to be admitted to the East Riding and Hull smallpox hospitals and to Driffield isolation hospital. In 1927 Beverley was added to the East Riding Hospital District, so that patients could go to Driffield, and in 1930 to the East Riding Smallpox Hospital District, so that they could be sent to Shipton; the Beverley building was sold for removal from the site in 1930. (fn. 181)
The poor-law institution (formerly the Beverley union workhouse) in Woodlands was converted to a hospital in 1939 under the Emergency Hospitals Scheme and became known as the Beverley Base Hospital. It was run by the county council until 1948. (fn. 182) That year there were 250 beds, of which 94 were not available for use; in 1983 there were 213. (fn. 183) Much new building took place after 1948. (fn. 184)
A dispensary was opened by the East Riding county council in 1918 in Register Square. (fn. 185) It had been closed by 1952, when it was reconveyed to the council (fn. 186) and used for a time for other health service purposes. (fn. 187)
The following are some of the homes and institutions that have existed in the town.
A home for children from vicious or destitute surroundings was kept in Wednesday Market in 1892, (fn. 188) and a minster girls' home in Highgate, perhaps the same, was mentioned from 1894 to 1905. (fn. 189)
A home for inebriate women was kept at Albion House, Grovehill Road, from 1905 to 1933. (fn. 190)
A children's home in Hengate, known as Norwood Home, belonged to the Beverley poorlaw union from 1913. (fn. 191) A children's home was run by the East Riding county council in Westwood House from c. 1930. It was replaced in 1936 by premises in Railway Street, and they in turn in 1967 by others in Keldgate, (fn. 192) which were administered by Humberside county council in 1987.
A maternity home, with 20 beds, was run by the East Riding county council in Westwood House from 1945 until 1948; (fn. 193) it later formed part of Westwood Hospital.
An old people's home was run by the East Riding county council in Langholm, in the later Langholm Close, which was bought for the purpose in 1950. It was closed soon after 1970 but was reopened in 1982 as a private home. (fn. 194)
Minster Towers old people's home, Lord Roberts Road, was built by the East Riding county council and completed in 1965. (fn. 195)
An adult training centre and hostel (the Laurels) for the mentally handicapped were built on Grovehill Road by the East Riding county council in 1965-6. The centre was later enlarged and another hostel (the Lilacs) added. (fn. 196)
The Chase old people's home, Langholm Close, was built by the East Riding county council in the grounds of Langholm and opened in 1972. (fn. 197)