Our Criminal Ancestors has teamed up with heritage tourism app ‘What Was Here?’, from East Riding Archives, to create the ‘Beverley Crime Audio Trail’, guiding people around eight points of interest in the town, from the Railway Station through to the old House of Correction on Norfolk Street.

The trail is self-directed through the ‘What Was Here?’ app on your smartphone. At each point you can hear special audio commentary from Professor Helen Johnston, as she offers her unique insight into the history of crime and punishment in Beverley.

“Historically, Beverley as the county town was an important centre of administration and one of the main areas of administration was criminal justice,” explains Helen. “The county Quarter Sessions were also held in Beverley as well as the lower courts which dealt with a number of petty thefts, drunkenness, public disorder and nuisance and related summary offences.”

The audio commentary also guides you to Beverley Minster and the story of ‘Sanctuary’ where, during the 11th to 16th centuries, those wanted for involvement in homicide, assaults, theft, debt, or were simply fearful for their safety, could claim temporary refuge.

The key points of interest on the trail include:

Dick Turpin – find out about the real Richard Turpin who was arrested and detained in Beverley in 1739 What are the myths about this case and what is the reality? Learn more about Turpin, his crimes and his punishment and the role Beverley played in the outcome.

Beverley Minster – a place of sanctuary? Religious sites are often thought of as places of safety or sanctuary but what role did Beverley Minster play in the sanctuary of criminals in the past?

Prisons in Beverley – criminal justice buildings are all around us as we walk through the historic town of Beverley and they can tell us much about people’s views about crime and punishment in the past. In the 18th century, there were a number of small prisons in Beverley and by the 19th century, part of a nationwide prison ‘reform’ movement, a new prison opened for the East Riding.

The ‘Beverley Crime Audio Trail’ can be found by downloading the ‘What Was Here?’ app for free in app stores (search ‘what was here’).

See also www.whatwashere.org for links to the app stores from the menu.

Latest Updates on Twitter

In collaboration with @durham_uni and funded by the @ahrcpress (via the @nbcdtp) we are excited to invite applications for a Collaborative Doctoral Award: Nostalgia and the transformation of working-class heritage.


Kicking off #triviaTuesday for 2022, we're asking if you can guess where these lovely drawings were created? This is the Criminal Record Book of the South Australian Supreme Court from 1845 to 1850. Where was the Court located during this time?

My GGfather 1921 census “boot maker, own account, works at home” - hides fact he had his leg amputated after being shot during FWW (aged about 25). He fixed boots and shoes out of shed in the backyard of their home in Ludlow #gotdistracted ⁦@UkNatArchives⁩

It's #HeritageTreasures day and this video captures the essence of why Hull's maritime heritage is being revitalised.

Born on the Tide : https://youtu.be/e3EaGekDRCc

#MaritimeHull #HullYMC @HeritageFundNOR @HeritageFundUK

Tick Tock goes the clock! But Still 3 days in which to submit a paper for our 2022 conference ‘Facing Forward: Post-pandemic recordkeeping – change, challenge, choice’ 31 Aug-2 Sept in Chester. Deadline this Friday more info here: http://bit.ly/3IutRez

Reminder: Articles of up to 11k words dealing with histories of sexual violence from any period and any region of the world are welcomed for the upcoming special issue of Historia Critica edited by Eliza Teixeira de Toledo & myself, due by 31 January 2022 https://revistas.uniandes.edu.co/callforpapers/histcrit

Today is #HeritageTreasures Day, and we want to thank all of our museum team, who help care for the 100,000 items in our collection, as well as all of our supporters who make it possible! 💛

Have you seen this signed copy of #OliverTwist by #CharlesDickens? 📚


@demon_drink @ourcriminalpast In 1891 Harry Dainton was convicted of drowning Hannah, his wife, in the River Avon. Hannah liked a drink &, whilst Harry was no saint, after finding her again in the pub it looked like he simply lost it. Leaving behind 6 children, one of whom was blind & died in the Workhouse.

At the start of the new year, why not brush up on your family history courses with an online course? We take a look at the latest courses available now, covering family history software, printed sources in family history and more


COMING SOON: Explore the county's historical connection to the many diseases & epidemics that have affected Hertfordshire since the 1300s in our new online talk FEVER
To book tickets: https://bit.ly/32Z0P6y