An engaging introduction to the workings of church buildings and churchyards, explaining the integral elements of a working church and how they have changed over time.
The parish church is a symbol of continuity, a cornerstone of the urban and rural landscape, and a treasure trove often as rich in cultural history as any museum. This compact and accessible guide explores all of these aspects of the parish church. It begins by examining why churches are built where they are, and then goes on to explain how both church buildings and churchyards have changed over time. It also describes the fixtures and furnishings in the parish church, including fonts, screens, stained glass, and monuments, explaining their ritual and symbolic purpose and how their significance has shifted over time. Lavishly illustrated with color photographs, this book will provide an indispensable introductory guide to anyone who is curious about the nation's parish churches and wants to explore them further.
About the Author
Table of Contents
The Broad Sweep of History 5
History of the Parish Church 11
The Churchyard 29
The Church Exterior 49
The Interior 73
The Furnishings 97
Further Reading 136
Places to Visit 138
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Churches and Churchyards of England and Wales by Richard Hayman is a wonderful reference on the history of the churches of England and Wales. I have had the pleasure of seeing some old churches when visiting family in England and our parish church is over 900 yrs old. I found it fascinating to learn how the structures and the uses of the churches were altered based on the needs of the population and town/village parishes. I did not know a lot about how parishes and monasteries came to be in England and how it all changed structure wise. I found the pictures to be breathtaking and I highly recommend this book if you have an interest in English history. I requested and received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher and NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Let me start off by saying, I read a lot of non-fiction concerning British history. It can be very hit or miss if it’s dry and lacking personality. But I must say, I loved Churches and Churchyards of England and Wales by Richard Hayman. Richard describes various churches still standing today in this fascinating journey through British history. Not only does he describe their architecture, inside and out, and how that coincides with the history of the country politically, religiously, and architecturally, he also shares the social history of the church and how that effected the usage of various parts of the buildings. The book is concise with gorgeous pictures so that the reader may visualize the different aspects mentioned. The anecdotes used were very fun as well. My favorite was concerning Shakespeare’s epitaph which reads, “Blest be the man that who spares these stones/And trouble he that moves these bones.” Apparently it became a very popular epitaph. I might just have to steak that one for myself. I could have read a whole book about the graves and memorials. I would recommend this book to anyone fascinated in the religious, social, or architectural history in England and Wales.
Churches and Churchyards of England and Wales by Richard Hayman is a fabulous reference on the history of the churches of England and Wales in how the hierarchy was created, how the structures and locations themselves were created (and why), how the churchyards and boundaries were created and developed, and how the internal and external components were added and altered throughout the history of the Christian existence in these countries. It was fascinating to learn how the structures and the uses of the churches were altered based on the needs of the population and towns “parishes” and how the ranking of what was considered important changed over time. I did not know a lot about how parishes and monasteries came to be in England and how it all changed structure wise. The supporting pictures were breathtaking. 5/5 stars. If you love English/Welsh history, or if you are a history buff on the church structure, this is a must read.
I am most definitely both an Anglophile and a reader of many mysteries with clerical themes. For example, I think of the wonderful series by Kate Charles or Susan Hill that I have enjoyed. So, when I saw this title that was about the churches of England and Wales, I knew that I wanted to read it. First...the photographs are absolutely gorgeous. Crystal clear in their reproductions, they complement the text perfectly and allowed for happy, contemplative armchair travel. The author starts the book by describing churches as places that have absorbed the histories of their times, places and communities. He notes their artwork, design and origins. Next, there is a thorough history on building churches and the sponsorship of different churches; some were part of a wealthy person's estate while others were build for contemplation. After this, there are sections on the churchyard, the interior and exteriors of churches and the furnishings. As a bonus, there are sections on further reading and places to visit. I very much enjoyed this title. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this beautiful and informative book. I am now very eager for my next trip, whenever that may be!
This book is interesting, entertaining and well researched. I appreciated the clear explanations, the style of writing and the picture. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.