Churches

A library for historians…

Churches

Separate, wooden clad, bell tower at 13th C. Church of St. Augustine, Brookland

Cross the British landscape on any walk and you don’t have to go too far before you either pass a church, or spot the spire of one above the trees in the distance. Countless times I have rested on a seat just outside the church. Invariably, if the church is open, I find time to pop in for a wander round. It is always helpful to have just a little knowledge of church history, design and their features to enjoy them all the more.

Three Points of the Compass resting awhile at the 'Pilgrim's Church' on the North Downs Way. 19th C. St. Martha-on-the-Hill has 12th C. features and is offers great views

Three Points of the Compass resting awhile at the ‘Pilgrim’s Church’ on the North Downs Way. 19th C. St. Martha-on-the-Hill has 12th C. features and offers great views across the Weald

The quiet little Church of St. Thomas. Harty, Isle of Sheppy has undergone considerable changes in its 900 year history. These are two of the four windows depicting the four seasons

The quiet little Church of St. Thomas. Harty, Isle of Sheppy has undergone considerable changes in its 900 year history. These are two of the four windows depicting the four seasons and the wildlife of the island

Bench end carving. Chester Cathedral

Bench end carving. Chester Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needless to say, Shire come to the rescue of the curious with two very informative volumes. The 96 page on Medieval Church Architecture by Jon Cannon looks at the three great Gothic styles: Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular. He also includes some slight mention of other great buildings that have incorporated elements of church architecture in their design. Roger Boswell includes a hundred photographs in his volume, Stained Glass, and looks at glass windows from Anglo-Saxon (AD 700-1066) to the present day.

Author Jon Cannon has aimed at enabling beginners to identify essential styles as they appear in England

Author Jon Cannon has aimed at enabling beginners to identify essential styles as they appear in England

Three Points of the Compass on day four of the Ridgeway, another church offers a brief respite from the trail

Three Points of the Compass on day four of the Ridgeway, another church offers a brief respite from the trail

Two pages from Geoffrey R. Sharpe's Historic English Churches. The author had forty yeras expericne in managing and caring for historic buildings leading up to the publication of this excellent book

Two pages from Geoffrey R. Sharpe’s Historic English Churches. The author had forty years experience in managing and caring for historic buildings leading up to the publication of this excellent book

My other two featured book s are far more indepth. Geoffrey R. Sharpes work is a stand alone effort that is brimming with detail. Sadly, far more than I am ever going to be able to retain in memory. While the definitive Companion to the English Parish Church is just the ticket to quickly leaf through and get the information- Ah, that’s what it is!

Three Points of the Compass left the London Countryway briefly to enjoy the cool interior of the candle lit 13th C. 'Bargees Church'- St. Mary Magdalene, Bovery

Three Points of the Compass left the London Countryway briefly to enjoy the cool interior of the simple, candle lit 13th C. ‘Bargees Church’- St. Mary Magdalene, Bovery

Mrs Three Points of the Compass takes a break on the Wealdway while the 'expedition leader' explores the interior of St. Mary the Virgin, Speldhurst

Mrs Three Points of the Compass takes a break on The Wealdway while the ‘expedition leader’ explores the interior of 14th C to 19th C. St. Mary the Virgin, Speldhurst, this church is famous for its stained glass by Burne-Jones and William Morris

Books in featured image:

The Companion to the English Parish Church, Stephen Friar. Chancellor Press, 1996, ISBN 0 75370 330 0

Historic English Churches, a Guide to their Construction, Design and Features, Geoffrey R. Sharpe. I.B. Tauris, 2011. ISBN 978 1 84885 189 4

Stained Glass, Roger Rosewell. Shire Publications, 2016, first printed 2012. ISBN 13 978 0 74781 147 3

Medieval Church Architecture, Jon Cannon. Shire Publications, 2016, first printed 2014. ISBN 13 978 0 74781 212 8

Sometimes, a church just provides a little shelter. Three Points of the Compass and his family took shelter from the heavy rain in a church porch while completing the Two Moors Way in 2012

Though sometimes, a church just provides sanctuary. Three Points of the Compass and his family took shelter from the heavy rain in the porch of late 19th C St. Peter, Washford Pyne while completing the Two Moors Way in 2012

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