Parish Church-Building

Andrew D. Brown

in Popular Piety in Late Medieval England

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780198205210
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191676550 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Parish Church-Building

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)
  • History of Religion


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Church-building unites two themes that are present in this book: the efforts of living parishioners and the communal commemoration of the dead. The vast number of churches that were rebuilt or remodelled in the later Middle Ages are today still the most visible expression of pre-Reformation religion, and provide evidence on which the eyes of modern historians could focus a little more often. Some 476 churches in the diocese are used in this survey. Of course, visual evidence can be limited; tables showing dates of church-building might almost invite a derisory curl of an archaeologist's lip. However, they may help to test some of the generalizations made concerning the relative importance of church-building during the later Middle Ages. The thirteenth century has been described as ‘the time of church-building’, but so has the fifteenth. This chapter looks first at when churches (and parts of them) were built, who built them, and why.

Keywords: churches; commemoration; dead; Middle Ages; diocese; building; living parishioners

Chapter.  8645 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) ; History of Religion

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