Beverley's mysterious underground world of lost streams, pumps, and privies explored in new exhibition

Ever since she was 15 and was given a book about London's lost streams, tunnels and railways, researcher Kloskk Tyrer has been fascinated by the mysterious dark world which lies hidden under our feet.

After moving to Beverley, Kloskk who works for East Riding Council's museums service, has turned her attention to what goes on beneath its busy streets.

There are no tunnels, she says, because the ground is so wet, with Beverley standing at the foot of the chalk Wolds, with the water draining through the town towards the River Hull.

However there are "lost streams" which along with the town's forgotten pumps and privies have become the subject of a thought-provoking new exhibition.

Most Popular

502 Bad Gateway

502 Bad Gateway

The brightly painted Gothic pump was used to supply a stone water trough until the 1940s

Who would guess for example that a stream runs in an underground culvert pretty much on its original medieval course along Walkergate behind Saturday Market ?

Or that under the alter in Beverley Minster is a well which members of a Russian Orthodox church come to take a cup of water for use in religious ceremonies back home?

Kloskk, who researched and produced the exhibition at Beverley Guildhall, said: “Coming from London I've always been obsessed with its lost rivers - of which there are many - sewers and drains. Anything watery has been my lifetime obsession.

"When I moved to Beverley I focussed on all the subject matter I'd been interested in London.

Researcher Kloskk Tyrer has been interested in mysterious underground worlds since the age of 15

"In medieval times Beverley was riddled with streams. Many of the town’s sinuous streets followed the courses of these waterways, giving Beverley its elongated shape."

Walker Beck, now buried under Walkergate, got its name from the water-hungry cloth-making industry.

Read More

Read More
Archaeological drone surveys in the Yorkshire Dales uncover previously unknown h...

And Kloskk says with a bit of detective work you can see where the watercourse ran through the centre of town in "what is now a very subtle valley".

There are still a few privies in Beverley

Another telltale sign of underwater meanderings is just outside North Bar Without where there are two buildings "sagging inwards" where the Town Ditch meets up with Walker Beck.

Kloskk said: "Walker Beck is still running under our feet. It wriggles its way through town into Mill Dam Drain on the south side - after heavy rain you can see the water pouring out."

The town was very reliant on water for its main industries, clothmaking , tanning and milling. The tanneries, which has their own boreholes, tended to be placed on the outskirts because of their smelliness.

A small section of the once heavily polluted Tan Dike still remains behind Akrill Mews.

Kloskk Tyler is pictured on Westwood Pasture, Beverley from where the streams run into Beverley

There are still a few privies in Beverley - none in use - but in private gardens, and as for the pumps, the last surviving pump is on North Bar Within. The brightly painted Gothic pump was used to supply a stone water trough until the 1940s.

As to why Beverley ended up relying entirely on water from Hull is another story - which can be found by visiting ‘Lost Streams, Pumps & Privies’, which opens at the Beverley Guildhall, in Register Square, on Wednesday July 6 and runs until October 28.

Admission is free and there is no need to book in advance.