England's Thousand Best Churches
Parish churches are England's glory. They enshrine the history of a people, most of whom have lived far from the capital, court and Parliament. These ... Show synopsis Parish churches are England's glory. They enshrine the history of a people, most of whom have lived far from the capital, court and Parliament. These people - their art, architecture and faith - are seldom recorded or celebrated. The parish church is their public monument. Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of England to select his thousand best churches. They are of all periods and denominations, though most are mediaeval foundations. Organized by county, each church is described, often with delightful asides, and is given a star-rating from one to five. The four- and five-star churches are listed as the "hundred best". The county sections are prefaced by a map locating each church and illustrated with photographs by Paul Barker from the "Country Life" archive. These churches house a gallery of vernacular art without equal in the world. From the Norman grotesques of Kilpeck to the Quaker simplicity of Come-to-Good, from the painted saints of Ranworth to the mighty fan vault of Sherborne, from the rose Madonna of Willoughby to Sara Losh's Cumbrian homage to love, these works would rank in any national museum. Simon Jenkins has brought this museum, located in some of England's most beautiful places, to public attention and asks that we treasure it for the next millennium.