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London's City Churches Paperback – 15 May 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Metro Publications Ltd; 2nd edition edition (15 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902910419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902910413
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.2 x 14 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By Andie TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I very much enjoy having this little book. I should emphasise the word "little" because it really is portable. When some publishers describe books as pocket guides I often wonder about the size of the pockets in other peoples clothes, but this book actually does fit into the pocket of my favourite winter jacket.

The book opens with an introduction which includes a brief history of church building in London, from Roman times until the post World War II period. There is a double-page map of the City showing all of the churches in the text marked clearly and numbered to correspond to the numbers in the text.

Each of the 47 churches and 8 stand-alone towers has at least a page dedicated to it and usually more. Black and white photographs accompany most of the churches. The description of each church opens with brief details of the church's history - when it was first recoreded, details of damage suffered, rebuilding, closure, reopening etc. The description then goes into details about the Church's construction history and highlights key features to look out for, mentioning, where applicable, interesting individuals who were associated with a given church. There are some fascinating stories about some of the churches.

Because this is intended to be a small and portable guide the details about the individual features within each church rather brief, but there is enough detail to enable the visitor to pick out the highlights. As another reviewer has remarked, there are many other books and websites which can offer more details if your interest is sparked by a specific location.

Each description ends with the church's address, nearest transport and opening hours.
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Format: Paperback
I was looking for a short accessible guide to the churches in the City of London, specifically Wren's works, and bought a copy of this book in the Museum of London bookshop.
It's a small book in terms of page size (about 4 inches by 3 inches, so it fits easily into a bag) and is 200 pages long, in which it covers 47 churches and 8 towers (where the main body of the church has been demolished). There is no standard format but generally there are two pages of text and either one or two black-and-white pictures of each church and a shorter section on the towers. In addition there is a 12-page introduction, as well as guides to three walking tours through the city (eastern section, central section and western section) covering all the churches in the book.
I am not a historian, architect, or even a particularly religious person but for me this was pitched absolutely perfectly. There are more detailed (and drier!) texts you can use as a follow-up, if you so wish. If you are looking for a simple, accessible introduction, or the basis for a tour of the churches this book is thoroughly recommended and is excellent value at the price.
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I have been trying for sometime to replace a lost and much loved guide to City churches I had in the 70's. This book has finally filled the gap - giving practical information regarding location, routes and opening times - as well as very readable and useful history and information on the churches themselves. There can be nothing more pleasant than a day spent walking round City churches interspersed with a nice leisurely lunch. This book is the ideal companion.
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I've wanted to look round some Churches on my occasional visits to London but never found anything that was both suitable and portable.

This little book fits easily in the pocket and is organised in such a way that you can easily find details on a church if you are walking past one. Each of the 55 churches and steeples gets a page or so and there is usually a photo on the opposite page.
You can track the churches down geographically and alphabetically and there are suggested walks towards the back. The maps give a rough idea of the location of each church though I would advise a more detailed map if, like me, you are not familiar with the area. Get something more detailed than the ubiquitous AtoZ.

The history of each church is detailed and you get an idea how much it has been bashed about by the Great Fire, the Victorians or even the IRA, in the case of the churches near Bishopsgate. Useful information like opening times and the nearest tube is detailed at the end of each entry. You also get snippets about "lost" churches and other buildings get mentioned in passing.

I have used the book on a weekend visit to the East End and found it invaluable. Clearly, on a page, you are not going to get much information but there is enough there to whet the appetite, and once you get into the building there is usually more information available.

I thoroughly recommend this book so have no hesitation giving it five stars.
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This book is just fantastic, each city church is described in fantastic detail, never going on too long so you never get bored, information is concise to the point and occasionally humorous, very very informative.

At the back there are a number of walks which help give you an idea on how small the city really is.

Overall if you love churches buy this book and go to them, because chances are if you're buying it you already love them and have probably been to a few, this just points out ones you've missed, and if your just starting out...well say no more it's a perfect buy and also if used for research for tours very helpful as a quick reference guide too.
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