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Churches: An Architectural Guide (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Introductions) Paperback – 2 Feb 2018
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"An excellent new book from the publishers of the Pevsner Architectural Guides. . . It's greatest achievement is to make the English parish church not just comprehensible but revelatory to the interested visitor, and to remind us that even in the smallest village there are marvellous artistic treasures that we do not notice, or whose significance and rarity we fail to grasp."--Simon Hughes, Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Simon Bradley is joint series editor of the Pevsner Architectural Guides.
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The largest section – as might be expected, is the Medieval period, where we move from the development of internal decoration, the development of Gothic, roofing, exterior changes, and then the impact of the Reformation. What is consistent in terms of architectural development, is the way church buildings, have been, as it were, amended, sections rebuilt, extensions added, and so on. It happened in Cathedrals, so why not in churches? [Truro Cathedral – you would think ca. 14th.c. is a classic illustration of Victorian insight, rebuilding architecture of the past.] The disastrous effect of the Victorian ‘improvers’ in many churches is perhaps beyond its brief, as is why many churches from the Medieval period, in terms of buildings, have only partially survived. That said, there has also been bomb damage, and a decline in use; within a three mile radius of where I live, one church is now an arts center and another used by a housing association, following desanctification.
This is not a guide to the some 16,000, parish churches of England, but their architecture, presented in broad but simple terms – an overview in the end papers is a nice touch. The illustrations, mainly in colour, are generous and not partisan, and of course we learn a lot of new words.