The Story of King Athelstan & St John of Beverley

The sanctuary status of Beverley was ancient and precious. Local legend said the right of Sanctuary had been granted to the town by King Athelstan in 938, alongside other rights and freedoms.

It was said in later chronicles that Athelstan had visited the shrine of St John to ask for the saint's help in his war against the Scots. When he did win, he returned to Beverley and granted the right of sanctuary as a token of his gratitude.

The mythical meeting between Athelstan and St John is depicted in a painting in the Minster. Watch our animated version of this sanctuary legend and see the painting come to life!

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