The Building of the English Church c320-1901

Ref: C2224440

The course seeks to turn course members into amateur architectural historians through a chronological and thematic examination of the development of English ecclesiastical architecture from the Saxons to the Victorians. This course will provide a chronological treatment of the development of the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles of English ecclesiastical architecture through to 1901, it will examine a few individual themes including seventeenth and eighteenth century church sculpture and the effect on mediaeval church building of local geology, and it will provide opportunity for course members to examine a few local churches for themselves, in order to put what they have learnt into practice “in the field”.

Course aim

To enable course members to carry out systematic examinations of parish churches in England so as to form reasonably reliable, independent judgements about their history and building development.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1. Recognise common features and styles of church architecture.
  • 2. Carry out systematic examinations of church buildings.
  • 3. Form independent judgements about their history.
  • 4. Suggest the likely sequence of a church’s development through time.

How will I be taught?

  • The course will consists of eight lectures/presentations and two field trips, lasting from about 10.00.a.m. - 3.00.p.m. It is essential that course members should be able to attend at least the first three presentations and one of the field trips.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • Feedback from the tutor will be through discussion, with the church visits providing the best opportunity for wide-ranging, open-ended considerations.

What else do I need to know?

  • A copy of the county volume of “The Buildings of England” is needed for maximum benefit from this course. An illustrated glossary of architectural terms such as Harris and Lever’s Illustrated Glossary of Architecture (Faber) would also be helpful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Hopefully, this course might lead to greater enjoyment in visiting English churches, in town or the countryside and either from home or on holiday. It could, of course, also lead to further study up to almost any level, by anyone who desired it.

Download full course outline

The Building of the English Church c320-1901 Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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