Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beverley and its beligerant Bovines

I have recently realised that since I have started blogging I have never featured my home town Beverley.
Beverley is a market town, civil parish and the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, located between the River Hull and the Westwood.
The town is noted for its main feature the Beverley Minster and architecturally significant religious buildings, as well as the Beverley Racecourse and the market place; the town itself is around 1,300 years old.
The town was originally known as Inderawuda and was founded by Saint John of Beverley during the time of Angle kingdom Northumbria.
After a period of Viking control, it passed to the Saxons, a period during which it gained prominence in terms of religious importance in Great Britain.
It continued to grow especially under the Normans when its trading industry was first established.
A place of pilgrimage through the Middle Ages due to its founder, Beverley eventually became known as a noted wool-trading town.
Beverley was once the 10th largest town in England and among the richest, owing broadly to its connection with founding saint of the town John of Beverley.
However, following the English Reformation, Beverley's regional stature was reduced.
For twenty two years, Beverley was the administrative centre of the local government district of the Borough of Beverley, and is now the East Riding county town.
It is located 8 miles (13 km) north-west of Hull, 10 miles (16 km) east of Market Weighton and 12 miles (19 km) west of Hornsea.

According to the 2001 United Kingdom Census the total population of the urban area of Beverley was 29,110, of whom 17,549 live within the historic parish boundaries.
As well as its Racecourse and markets, Beverley is known in the modern day for hosting various music festivals throughout the year.
In 2007 Beverley was named as the best place to live in the United Kingdom in a study by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Well that's the formal bit out of the way.
All of my cycling routes start from Beverley.
If you travel anywhere North-East through to South clockwise you cycle on relatively flat roads into the Holderness plain. (this is reserved for days with a hangover, or for fast riding).
From South to North East you are directly into the Yorkshire Wolds and then towards the North Yorkshire Moors. This is big hill country, and my usual route.

This starts with a steady climb over Beverley Westwood. It is a large area of pasture land that permits free grazing through an old anomoly in the law.
As such the roads are shared with cows and bulls, some of which have very big horns. These are nowhere as big as the protrusions belonging to the Texas Longhorn, but with a ton of beast behind them, they make potent weapons. I actually find all horned cattle a little intimidating, especially when I am wearing red.
If I was the neuritic type I would be sure that these four legged creatures have a spy close to my house. Maybe its just coincidence I dont know but as each time I set off up to the Westwood, they all appear by the roadside. Its a bit like crowds lining the route of Alpe de huez in the Tour de France.
Each time I cycle up or down Westwood they are seem fascinated by me and their apparent curiosity brings them up close and personal. So much so that I am able admire the grooves on their horns and look for remnants of ripped Lycra, or cyclist blood.
Their favorite trick seems to be reserved for when I come home.
Whilst cycling at 30 + mph down the steepest section they like to step out in front of me, and stop stationary in the road.If i move to the left, they do, to the right they follow too, like some prearranged choreographed dance sequence.
I wonder are they autograph hunting? believing me to be a cycling bull.
Others like to run along side me like Didi, Le Diable, in the Tour de France.
All in all it makes for some interesting riding.
This Saturday sees a visit from Paddy by twin brother who has been putting in some great fast riding on the Texas Plains. I am looking forward to reacquainting him with some proper hills to see if he can compete for the polka dot jersey.
Sundays blog may just feature some brotherly pain as well as brotherly love, either way I am certain there will be some frivolity

1 comment:

Big Oak said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I am interested in history of places - both the cultural and natural.

Hope you have a great visit with your brother, and watch out for the beef!