ONE of East Yorkshire’s oldest buildings, Beverley Friary, will officially re-open its doors on Tuesday October 2 after a £340,000 refurbishment.
Ahead of the official reopening, visitors to the Friary on the first ever Youth Hostel Association Day on Saturday had an opportunity to see for themselves the improvements which have been made.
The 600-year-old Friary, which was mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, has been operated by the national youth hostelling charity YHA as a youth hostel since 1984.
Tours of the historic building were offered during the YHA Day, as well as displays of its history and heritage.
The refurbishment has been part-funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Beverley Friary Preservation Trust, with the aim of transforming it into the ultimate family-friendly Youth Hostel.
The six-month scheme has taken care to ensure the building’s original features have been retained, including beamed ceilings, stone fireplaces and medieval and Tudor wall paintings on the hostel’s walls.
The refurbishment has brought the Friary in line with YHA’s drive to create a network of modern Youth Hostels offering private sleeping accommodation for up to 30 people, en suite and educational facilities.
It is expected that visitor numbers to the Youth Hostel and the surrounding area will increase substantially following the refurbishment.
Previously, the sleeping accommodation was in two single sex dormitories, YHA Beverley Friary now offers six bedrooms, sleeping between two and eight people and two communal lounge area as well as a well-equipped kitchen.
As well as being a Youth Hostel, the Friary’s history and heritage is celebrated by the Beverley Friary Preservation Trust, whose members facilitate public access to the building.
Chris Alder, Manager of YHA Beverley Friary, is delighted with the new-look Youth Hostel. He said; “The refurbishment has given us a more appealing and attractive building. We have a number of bedrooms offering families and individuals privacy as well as comfort.
“The Friary is a beautiful, quirky building, which the refurbishment has enabled us to widen its appeal and attraction to the many families and groups who visit Beverley and the surrounding area.”
Councillor Stephen Parnaby, Leader of East Riding Council, said; “The Friary is one of Beverley’s oldest buildings and it is great to see the work that has been carried out to bring it up to a high standard. The Friary now offers great value for money for people who are visiting the area.