Welcome to TheParishChurch.co.uk

On this website there is a mixture of:

·       Professional Standard Level 4 Recording Reports of Parish Churches I have been employed to work on, once such work is in the public domain.

·       An abbreviated photographic recording report of Parish Churches that I have visited throughout the country.

·       Essays on particular aspects of the Architectural History and Archaeology of the Parish Church.


It would be easy for me to suggest that these pages are the results of a scholarly study or a major recording program, when they are largely the result of holidays and afternoons out. A few years ago when I started to do a lot of work on Redundant Churches I decided that I ought to visit a few exemplars of Churches with unusual pews. Using Simon Jenkins as a guide I visited a few and quickly found that I might as well photograph all sorts of things at the same time. I therefore adopted a systematic method of photography. I have no specific goals or areas of study.


Having amassed a collection of over half a million images I thought I ought to share the images with others so that a use for the collection might emerge.


The “recording” is continuing and more will be added to this website in due course. Which Churches I visit is pretty much ad hoc, but with an underlying structure with an emphasis on Pre-Victorian Churches. In part this is controlled by where I am working.


In addition, for each Church there are notes on location and parking as well as the postcodes. Often the postcodes are approximate but given that most Churches are landmarks this is usually not a problem.


Usually the photographs are taken in a systematic way and are fairly comprehensive and it is thus usually obvious what their subject is, especially when the listed building description and a plan of the Church is looked at. I have included abridged information on the date and style of particular aspects such as fonts. Much of this information is derived from the Listed Building description. It is clear however that many of the typologies and nomenclature are unchanged from the Victorian Period and that revisions to the typologies are long overdue. Where I have adopted a non standard nomenclature there will usually be an essay explaining this.


I note that this is the hobby of a very busy professional and my leisure time is in short supply so in many respects things are very rough and ready compared to a full professional recording.


English Heritage’s Images of England website created in 2000 aimed to “record” every listed building with a single photograph and the listing description. These days an internet image search on most historic buildings will reveal a host of images. In addition there are many websites devoted to the Parish Church for instance http://www.suffolkchurches.co.uk/ or http://www.oxfordshirechurches.info/.


Such sites consist of studies of churches in a particular area, or of a specific aspect such as the stained glass of Buckinghamshire http://www.bucksstainedglass.org.uk/ or round towers http://www.roundtowers.org.uk/ ; or are very scholarly such as the Corpus of Romanesque http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/index.html. There is also the pay to view Digiatlas website.


Having looked at the other websites I decided that there was a lack of depth to most websites and I decided that the easiest and quickest way to publish was to put together a series of photographs as a pdf files which allowed for many high resolution images to be published quickly.


Dr Peter Wardle


The Historic Environment Consultancy
38 Elvendon Rd, Goring on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG8 0DU
Tel: 01491 875584