The Observer Book of Old English Churches
Lawrence E. Jones
Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., 1965
The Cathedrals of England
Harry Batsfor and Charles Fry
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935
Though both these books provide a wealth of description and
illustrations of England's old churches and cathedrals, they are vastly
Old English Churches is not the pictorial one expects
(although there are many photographs). This undersized little gem is
full of interesting tidbits about England's old churches. For instance,
all the old churches were expected to have attached graveyards, called
churchyards, that were accessed through a lynch-gate. Prior to the
Reformation, the churchyards featured large stone crosses.
In another section on "Materials" it is noted that the churches were
built with the stone found in their region: gray limestone from Somerset
to east Yorkshire. In Norfolk and Suffolk, flint is the material used.
In the extreme northwest of England, the building stones are of slate.
In the section on "Family Pews" it was interesting to learn that some
of these had furniture — and even private fireplaces!
Exterior gargoyles were added to redirect rain water from gutter
spouts, and priest doors were almost always located on the south side of
the chancel while Easter sepulchres were always on the north of the
It's worth tracking the book down on the internet just for the
diagram of a church with comprehensive labels arrowing to every single
architectural detail and every nook and cranny of these old churches.
The Cathedrals of England is exactly what one expects. History
and description of England's 26 major cathedrals is given. Another
section is devoted to the parish-church cathedrals, such as in
Birmingham, Manchester and Coventry, and the modern cathedrals in Truro,
Liverpool and Guildford are also treated in this volume. Many
illustrations, including drawings of the layout of the cathedrals,
For Anglophiles, both books are a nice addition to your library.