Church Misericords and Bench Ends (Shire Library) Paperback – 9 Oct 2009
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I have been a fan of Shire Books ever since I came to England as a student. Authoritative, attractive and well priced they guide you effortlessly through an amazing range of subjects across time and space from Animals in Ancient Egypt to English Parish Churches. Lloyd Grossman, Chairman, The Churches Conservation Trust --Lloyd Grossman
About the Author
Richard Hayman is an architectural historian and archaeologist who has been studying and photographing churches over many years. He has compiled many of the statutory lists of buildings of special architectural interest for Wales, and has also written a book on wrought iron for Shire.
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I would strongly recommend this book both as an introduction to the subject and as a spur to further exploration. There is, in addition to the index, a list of churches to visit arranged by county. Having taken it away with me recently, I am pleased that it helped me find some fascinating carvings.
Two quibbles: Hayman refers to "Wiggenhall St Mary" near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, site of some of the best carvings in England. Confusingly, the road atlas has TWO Wiggenhall St Maries; you want Wiggenhall St Mary the Virgin, a church no longer used for worship but preserved for its astonishing carvings; visit also nearby Wiggenhall St Germans. Second quibble; Hayman omits Glandford, near Blakeney. All the woodcarving in this church dates from a late 19th century restoration, but it is outstanding; incontrovertible evidence that Victorian craftsmen were, if given free rein, capable of producing work as vivid and indiosyncratic as their medieval forerunners.
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