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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars13
4.2 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 February 2009
An very portable glossary of church terms with lots of illustrations. I've just volunteered for a survey project in London which is looking at the condition and significance of urban places of worship. Although I have been involved in many surveys and excavations they all deal with the remains of structures which predate urban environments. I was therefore in serious need of a descriptive vocabulary specific to churches, amongst others.

This does the job, fits in my pocket, weighs almost nothing and was inexpensive. The illustrations are black and white sketches. There are only a few terms which I had hoped to find which appear to be missing, and they concern very small and specific areas of church architecture.

Being a glossary it helps if you know what something is called before you look it up, particularly if that particular term is not illustrated. I find it most useful for working back from the illustration to the term, but of course not every term is illustrated. If every term was illustrated, however, it would be a vast book, which would undermine one of its key benefits. And to be 100% fair the text on the back cover says that the book is largely intended to demystify the tehcnical terms used in guide books, not to help people work back from the architectural features to the terms.

Great value for money and does what it says on the box.
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on 23 July 2009
This is only a small book,but it carries a lot of useful information about church architectural features. I have found it most helpful in my current activity of visting and painting portraits of some of the old churches of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. It is easy to slip into a pocket or bag for easy reference when in the field.
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on 1 September 2008
I am very interested in old churches, and for a long time I have been looking for good books about churches that are not just coffee-table books, but that also do not assume that you are an expert on architecture and art history. This thin book gave me just the crash course I needed to read some of the more advanced books. I've actually read it several times, and keep consulting it still. There are similar book out there, like the The Sutton Companion to Churches. That one is more detailed, but also contains a lot of terms that you are less likely to come across. This books gives you the basic terms that will enable you to read the standard books about churches and actually understand what they are talking about!
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on 22 February 2013
I'm interested especially in Gothic cathedrals. I bought this little (64 4.5"x7" pages) to act as portable reference. Portable it certainly is. A reference? Not really, but why? Quite sensibly, the book is organised alphabetically as an illustrated dictionary of terms. Unless you know the name of something, however, the illustrations are the way to search for what you want to know. The illustrations are mostly postage-stamp size, hand-drawn, black ink drawings. With drawings rather than black-and-white photographs, uninformative detail can be left out, to advantage. The drawings are free-hand sketches, however, so that intended straight lines and circles aren't. For some of the entries, the words are curious, if not downright misleading, with clear explanation too often sacrificed to brevity. All of this is a pity. The aim of the book is admirable: its execution is disappointing. Fewer but fuller accurate explanations, with competent drawings, and the book could achieve its purpose.
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on 13 July 2013
It is only a glossary of terms. I anticipated a lot drawings and sketches pointing out the names of the various elements of the church building. Not very good
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on 22 February 2013
If you know a bit about the subject already this book could do with a little bit more expansion on the "knowledge" but it is a very good memory jogger and would recommend buying it anyway for the price!
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on 1 November 2013
So so handy to any Professional undertaking church surveys or appreciates such fine architecture. Pocket book size with simple sketches has made this book second to my Building Construction Handbook.
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on 30 October 2013
Very useful and small enough to carry around. Good value and essential terms explained clearly. Shire series usually good and informative.
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on 15 February 2013
Small book; good illustrations and diagrams; concise explanations of the different types of architecture to look for when visiting churches.
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on 22 January 2016
Writing my first church quinquennial report and was really useful
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