Norfolk: Volume 2: North West and South: North-west and South v. 2 (Pevsner Architectural Guides: Buildings of England) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1999
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"The greatest endeavour of popular architectural scholarship in the world." -- Jonathan Meades, The Observer, 25th November 2001.
About the Author
Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-73), founder of the celebrated Buildings of England series, was one of the most learned and stimulating twentieth-century writers on art and architecture. Bill Wilson brings to this book an unparalleled knowledge of Norfolk's historic buildings, the result of fifteen years of investigation. Starting with an interest in medieval churches, his expertise now ranges over every type of Norfolk building, particularly the smaller houses in which the county is so rich. He was engaged in a resurvey of Listed buildings in Norfolk for the Department of the Environment, and since 1987 has worked as a historic building consultant, based in Norwich. He has carried out surveys of the buildings of 25 East Anglian towns for English Heritage, and has completed for the National Trust an examination of all their properties in the East Anglia region, as well as many surveys for private clients.
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This, however, is not my only issue with Pevsner. If that were all, one would forgive him because he has to get a great deal of information into a relatively small space. However the author does something with buildings which I don't like. He dissects them into architectural motifs and components, and in the process loses sight of the whole - and of the whole core of architecture; space, light and proportion. I have also found through experience that he often dismisses as unworthy of note - or even indulges himself in a rather unnecessary sneer - at aspects of vernacular and traditional buildings which we, today, consider to be a huge part of their charm.
Churches are Pevsner's great obsession, yet he he often overlooks or ignores those small details of medieval craftsmanship which are, for most of us, the most interesting feature. Do not rely on him to lead you to interesting painted screens or heartwarming woodcarving. He likes stone tracery, florid monuments and stuff like that. For the churches of Norfolk, a good selection are described in quite a different and, to me, far more desirable manner, by David Stanford in Norfolk Churches
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