Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
A wonderful guide to England's ecclesiastical treasurehouses
on 30 November 2009
Jenkin's book has afforded me many happy days of church wandering in counties afar from home. His one to five star system does allow the traveller - whose time and money are limited - to cherry pick the most outstanding church buildings in an area. Yes, Pevsner is more thorough, but it costs £32 per volume per county (or part of a county), and it would be difficult to pick out the best. Jenkin's maps are also very useful, and he likes to set the scene and setting.
Of course, everyone will disagree with some of his ratings. The Anglo-Saxon church of Escomb, Co Durham, ranks only 2*, for example, when it is one of the most outstanding chuches of the period in the entire country, still within its own walled enclosure.
I also use the Blue Guide Churches of Northern (or Southern) England (out of print but obtainable used on Amazon) as a complement to Jenkins. A slightly different selection, and architecturally more detailed.
The hardback copy of Jenkins is rather heavy, even when travelling by car. If the paperback copy is durable, it is probably better, though without some of the photographs I guess.
So whether you are looking for Saxon long and short work, Norman zigzag, Early English lancets, decorated ogees, perpendicular fan-vaults, Easter sepulchres, Elizabethan funerary monuments, Gothick revival or Victorian masterpieces, Jenkins can guide you on your pilgrim way.