Britain's churchyards are among its most historic, peaceful and magical places. They are also among its most overlooked. This book will open readers eyes to the treasures to be found up and down the land.
Churchyards are everywhere, numbered in their thousands. Some have ancient yew trees while others have intriguing structures like parish stocks, charnel houses and medieval crosses. And beneath the grass lie untold generations of past parishioners, lying in the shadow of the church until the Day of Judgment. There is much to discover in churchyards - one of England's greatest creations. Memorials range from the grandest mausolea to the humblest of stones and wooden markers. From the eighteenth century outdoor memorials started to become the preferred option, encouraged by the Georgian classical revival. A wider range of society sought to be remembered using tombstones. Headstones sported imagery and epitaphs and many of these form the earliest tangible evidence of family history. Craftsmanship created beautiful imagery, and local materials and customs led to memorials distinctive to the places where they are found. This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with churchyards in all their variety.
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Dr Roger Bowdler studied history of art at Cambridge, and completed a PhD on 17th century church monuments in 1991. He was formerly Director of Listing at English Heritage, and is now a heritage consultant and lecturer. He is a former chairman of the Mausolea and Monuments Trust, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Research Associate at the University of London's Institute of Historical Research.
Churchyards by Roger Bowdler
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