Top Five Church Books

Boydell has never been short of books on churches: church buildings and architecture, church records, finances, music and more. How could it be otherwise, since they record so much of our history. Parish churches encapsulate not just local life through time but also some of the bigger, national – and sometimes international – picture of not just religious life but also the social, cultural, and artistic.

Here’s a small taster of five, an entirely subjective selection from Marketing Sean. As they say, other church books are available.

Medieval Wall Paintings in English and Welsh Churches

By Roger Rosewell

Boydell is never short of beautiful books but even amongst stiff competition, Roger Rosewell’s book stands out. Its 255 colour photographs of medieval church wall paintings are absolutely glorious. Mr Rosewell is also the perfect guide, introducing us to the very best surviving examples, and explaining the history, meaning and significance of each, all within the context of church life and iconography.

English Medieval Church Towers

The Northern Province

By W.E. David Ryan

Another beautifully illustrated gem, this one has been a star of our 2018 list. The premise is simple: architecturally-precise watercolour paintings of 500 medieval church towers from England’s vast Northern Province, which stretches from Nottinghamshire to the Scottish border. David Ryan visited them all and his travels have left us with a unique guide to some of the country’s most historic buildings.

The Temple Church in London

History, Architecture, Art

Edited by David Park and Robin Griffith-Jones

Talk about historic buildings, the Temple Church has seen it all. Founded by the Knights Templar, its
round nave famously modelled on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the church has changed ownership and denomination, been re-ordered by Christopher Wren, restored by Victorians, and bombed in the Second World War. It has survived it all and continues to offer a numinous sanctuary in the heart of London. This collection of expert essays presents the definitive account of an endlessly fascinating church.

Flint Flushwork

A Medieval Masonry Art

By Stephen Hart

Combining both construction and decoration, flint flushwork represents one of the very finest of medieval crafts. A wholly external medium, it has survived where other artworks have faded, crumbled or been removed. It’s particularly popular in East Anglia and so is a sight especially familiar to Boydell staff. All too often overlooked in architectural studies, flint flushwork finally found the champion it deserved in Stephen Hart.

The Art and Science of the Church Screen in Medieval Europe

Making, Meaning, Preserving

Edited by Spike Bucklow, Richard Marks and Lucy Wrapson

Returning inside the church, this hefty volume focuses on the church screen that divided “the priestly” from the congregation. We are lucky to have had so many survive the assaults of time and the Reformation. This book, from our always intriguing Boydell Studies in Medieval Art and Architecture series, is special not just for the overdue attention it pays to these furnishings but also for how it so adroitly combines the varied but clearly complementary expertise of historians, artists and scientists. Perhaps we shall see more in this cooperative vein?

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