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.
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.
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!
Books from my shelves:
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