Having lived near Beverley for most of my life, and even a year actually in Beverley, I feel a little embarrassed that I didn’t even know that the Treasure House Museum and Art Gallery existed. It’s a little out of the way, the TripAdvisor map doesn’t quite get you there and it looks a bit like a council office, but once inside it is a little undiscovered gem, and a very pleasant way to spend an hour while the car was in the garage.
I started with the museum section, which is based around the history of the East Riding. Local history can sometimes be a little dull and feel like the curator is really dredging the barrel to find enough to put on display, but not so much here. There were clearly a lot of hands on activities for children which was nice to see, and they did have some quite impressive exhibits. The real star was five Anglo-Saxon swords in very good condition found in the area, as well as several stashes of Roman and Anglo- Saxon coins and a few gold artefacts. The displays were clear and informative, and as a local it was interesting to see the history of the area without going into too much detail. It has a slightly odd layout as it is displayed by themes, not chronologically, but was still good to see how it all linked together.
After being sadly disappointed with the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate, I warily moved on to the art gallery and was pleasantly surprised. It mainly displays the work of local artist Fred Elwell but also a collection donated by various people to the gallery, and whose paintings were much more to my taste than modern art. However, I did enjoy a few paintings in the modern corner by James Neal. Unfortunately, the second half of the gallery was not open to due setting up a new exhibition of local artists which might have been nice to see too. The standout piece for me was the huge painting of the cows on Beverley Westwood called ‘The Panic’ by H.W.B Davis in 1872. The cows are basically life size and perfectly detailed- it genuinely just makes you go wow. I was happily impressed by the Treasure House, and might return again once the new gallery section is open.