The monument to Thomas Gray, author of 'Elegy Written in a County Churchyard', at Stoke Poges Buckinghamshire
Discover our historic churches!
English parish churches are filled with almost 1500 years of history. Memorials to noblemen and women, knights, soldiers and ploughmen, their wives and their children, even their pets, can be found within their walls.
During the Middle Ages more than 8000 parish churches were constructed in England. Most were founded between AD 950 and AD 1200 and the foundations of many are of even greater antiquity. Some churches incorporate masonry that can be dated as far back as the Roman period.
Located at the centres of their communities they were built to be the most permanent and substantial structures in the local landscape. Their fabric, furnishings and fittings record the lives of their architects, patrons, builders and users.
Every parish church has a history all of its own and often contains unique and important furnishings, fittings and monuments. The experience of visiting a historic church is enhanced by considering those who have walked through the door and back out again during the centuries. Their lives were shaped by the buildings and the architecture reflects the requirements and fashions of the times.
Visit them, enjoy them and let them inspire you. Most parish churches welcome visitors. Many have a guidebook, interpretation panels and sometimes even a volunteer available to show you round, explain the history and tell you the stories.
In 2008 I was awarded an MA in Medieval Studies from the University of York, my dissertation being a study of the patronage behind the reconstruction of fifteenth-century parish churches in Norfolk. I also have a first-class BA (Hons) in Medieval History and Archaeological Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury.
I work as a Volunteering Officer for The Churches Conservation Trust in Yorkshire & the North East of England, encouraging local people to care for historic churches no longer needed for worship.
I also teach a course on the development of the English medieval parish church in the York University Centre for Lifelong Learning, details of which can be found by clicking here.
I am a member of the Ecclesiological Society, succssor to the Cambridge Camden Society and am also a member of the Royal Photographic Society, one of my main interests being architectural photography.
www.englishhistoricchurches.co.uk is a photographic record of the churches I have visited and studied. Unaffiliated with the Church of England or any other religious or heritage organisation, it is a catalogue of some of most historically-, archaeologically- and architecturally-significant buildings in England.