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on 3 January 2001
I have completed 50 lunchtime visits to London's churches accompanied, inspired and provoked by Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner's guide to the City Churches. In my view the book is outstanding, filled with fine detail, expert knowledge and a wry sense of humour.
The format is a compilation of guides to the individual churches with as much or little detail as is warranted by the subject. An introduction to Wren's work is useful and the glossary of architectural terms vital.
My favourite passage concerns St Magnus the Martyr where extraordinary words and thoughts flow freely, and had both us and the vicar in fits, enhancing the visit considerably. On the other hand, the photographs are a little dull and black and white.
I owe the authors a debt for introducing me to some of the very best that London has to offer. And the churches are free to visit!
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on 26 August 2007
This book is around 6 inches by 3 inches and 160 pages long, so it fits neatly enough into a bag, although maybe not a pocket. It starts with an Introduction covering the history of churches in the city (around 35 pages) - this is detailed and helpful. The main part of the book is, of course, the description of the churches themselves. The description of each one varies in length from 1 page up to 3 or 4 pages. This is a historical guide but also a `proper' architectural guide so if, like me, you are a layman you will need the glossary of terms used. The glossary, like the text itself, would have benefited from some more drawings or sketches - indeed, one of the criticisms of the book is that the pictures are confined to a few pages in the middle of the book rather than being with the description of each church and they are not very inspiring. This is definitely a book to read while you are there. The other criticism I have is that the text is broken up into headings and this sometimes stops it flowing freely - it is more of a reference book than a chatty companion. Having said this, it is very authoritative.
In conclusion, I would say if you are looking for a short accessible guide to the churches of the City of London you should consider Stephen Millar's London City Churches, but if you found that a little too light, this would be an excellent back-up to provide depth and detail.
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on 16 April 2011
Excellent price and quality from supplier. For anyone interested in London architecture, particularly the City of London, this is a very useful reference. The city churches are such a distinctive part of the City's architectural heritage, dating back as they do to the Great Fire and Wren's subsequent rebuilding and repair programme. My only reservation about the book is its relative lack of illustrations, but that is down to the publisher, of course.
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on 11 January 2016
If you have the relevant Pevsner London guide and want to look at more than churches this doesn't add anything. However if you are setting out to visit only the City churches this is an ideal pocket guide with a very useful map. It's only a pity that so many of the churches seem to be shut when one wants to get into them.
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on 24 September 2015
no further comment needed - happy with purchase
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on 26 October 2013
Arrived promptly and in excellent consition. Its a very useful guide to City Churches their history and architectural and other features.
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on 8 January 2015
Good read
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