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England's Thousand Best Churches Paperback – 28 Sep 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (28 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140297952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140297959
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Masterly, perhaps a masterpiece' Independent Books of the Year

About the Author

Simon Jenkins writes for The Times and The London Evening Standard - both of which he has previously edited.

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First Sentence
Bedfordshire is not a glamorous county, yet there are surprising pleasures off its all-too-beaten tracks. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Lincs on 5 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a gem. We originally saw it whilst at a holiday cottage, where it was in the library. Having so enjoyed dipping into it whilst away, as soon as we got back I ordered my own copy. This is a must-have, for anyone who loves churches for their beauty, their history, and the sheer brilliance of their architecture. We now have to tour the country seeing them all, book in hand.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is in many ways an excellent book, the photographs wonderful and the writing, as others have commented, very much a la Pevsner at his pithy best. ... brass rhubarb for the unhelpful keyholder at Dorney, Bucks. indeed - marvellous!
I do, however, have three criticisms:
The first is to do with the book's organisation. Given the ever-increasing fluidity of modern administrative boundaries, which ebb and flow seemingly with each successive Local Government Act, why not use ALL the old, historic, pre-1965/1974 county boundaries, still largely adhered to in the Buildings of England series? Granted we are presented with the recently recreated Rutland and Herefordshire, and even the long-departed Huntingdonshire, so why do we still have to suffer that amorphous lump of "Cumbria", or "North Yorkshire", instead of dealing with the three historic ridings, or the indignity of lovely West Riding churches treated under, horror of horrors, Lancashire.
It may be pertinent that Mr Jenkins has seen fit to go by the old counties in southern England but not in the north and that brings me to my second grumble, namely a slight but still discernable southern bias. We all know that Somerset and Norfolk have outstanding church architecture but so too, as Mr J admits himself, does Yorkshire. So why is it that there are so many more entries for the former than for his "N Yorks" section? And as for Northumberland and "Cumbria", so scanty is the coverage I'm left seriously questioning whether his journeyings actually took him up the A1 much past Wetherby.
Quibble three is that, ex-Anglican or not, there is a wee bit too much concentration on the fourth rate C of E to the exclusion of some first rate Catholic and especially Nonconformist buildings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was interested in church architecture as a young man, but had rather got out of the way of it as I got older. This book, along with a couple by Alec Clifton-Taylor, opened my eyes to the wonders that are out there. Simon Jenkins is generous to the best Victorian churches (quite rightly) and is incisive and as committed as it is possible to be when writing about so many diverse buildings. A book we needed, never mind the odd inaccuracy, or flip opinion about particular towns (there is one about my home town, but it has an element of truth about it).

And I am still proud of having got into St Augustine's, Pendlebury, which he never managed - one of the really great Victorian churches.
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By Richard Newbold TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
Simon Jenkins' personal choice of England's "best churches, is presented on good quality paper in a slightly odd but reasonably logical modern-day county/administrative district order with a few old-fashioned variations like Rutland. each church gets a brief description and any noteworthy external and internal features. So far, so good, but overwhemingly the choice is medieval, Anglican with much notable non-conformist, catholic, modern and suburban gems crowded out. Compared to the Telegraph Guide to English Churches, a book half the size, the pictures rarely grab the attention as regards setting, architecture, aesthetics, or even religious symbolism. So recommended but there are more inspiring books available.
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By Rainer Lepka on 9 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm very interested in English churches and cathedrals. This book will help planning my next tours across the country. By reading I realized how many hidden treasures I've already missed in the past. With this guide in my luggage it won't happen again. There is so much more to discover
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully prepared book, Heavy in the hand. It is so well weitten that I find myself going back to it again and again. I would have loved a photo for everyy church, but am well aware that's totally unrealistic!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By emma on 29 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I bought it many years ago and treasure it still. I feel alienated by organised religion, but I have a passion for church architecture and the feelings that these churches possess. They're our heritage, our social history, they're art, they appeal to the soul, they're the essence of whatever we are on these isles and Simon Jenkins has recorded them so beautifully and so exactly while maintaining their enigmatic quality. This is a very important record. A very personal record. Even a significant record of our best churches. Thank you Simon Jenkins.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Hutchings on 24 July 2006
Format: Paperback
What a splendid reference book. Naturally I was thrilled to see several parish churches of mine included...

Simon Jenkins' reviews are spot on, the pictures detailed, the reviews wordy without loosing the reader or being patronising. Often when I've passed a church on a train, or am going to a particular part of the country, I check to see whether there is anything of interest, and I'm often surprised to find out the most bizarre facts!

A thoroughly good book.
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