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Discovering Churches and Churchyards
A guide to the architecture of English parish churches from Anglo-Saxon times to 1900

by Mark Child

A Shire Book( Discovering 298)

Discovering Churches and Churchyards When we first became interested in visiting churches for their architectural and social history, we had no idea how to ‘understand’ what we were seeing and place it in the correct historical context. We were entirely dependent on the lucky coincidence of a real person being present who could fill us in on their local church history or the presence of a printed guide existing in the church. Discovering Churches and Churchyards, a new Shire book, solves this problem. It is an invaluable resource for all church visitors, helping you to not only understand your surroundings but to fully appreciate what you see.

English churches are a valuable part of the country’s heritage architecturally and a reflection of the culture in which they were constructed and used. This book is a fascinating, well presented, detailed read on its own and a real necessity for church visitors, unlocking the architecture of the building and the various elements of its structure, both inside and out.

The book divides the information on churches into chapters according to their historical time periods: Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Transitional, Early English, Decorated, Perpendicular, Renaissance and Classical, and Victorian, concluding in 1900. Porches, doorways, clerestories, fonts, pillars and much more are explained.

Separate chapters deal with building materials, the aspects of the features and furnishings found within the church, and with churchyards. With many churches locked, visitors can still find much of interest in the exterior surroundings, including the lychgate, the gravestones, and the yews.

The book includes helpful extras: a gazetteer, further reading list, index of churches, and index of persons. Numerous illustrations explain architectural points, and coloured photographs enhance the text and provide further interest.

Mark Child is an established researcher of church architecture and the author of a number of books on history, topography, and the countryside. He wrote, for Shire, the book Discovering Church Architecture. He also writes for Archant Life magazines. To quote the author, “Just tuck yourself into the back of an old church and drink in its age and atmosphere, think about who built it and why, and who has been there since.” This book will open your eyes to what you are seeing and experiencing.

Discovering Churches and Churchyards
Published 2 August 2007
Order from Shire Books or purchase wherever Shire books are sold.
ISBN: 978 0 7478 0659 2 (Discovering 298)
264 pages, 300 coloured illustrations

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