A Glimpse of Heaven: The Catholic Churches of England and Wales
The architecture and decoration of Catholic churches and their importance as part of our heritage has gone largely undiscovered and unappreciated. This book is a celebration of 100 Catholic churches in England and Wales, with lively and informative text and stunning photography specially commissioned for the book. Each chapter is devoted to a milestone in the history of the Catholic Church since the Reformation, with a short, informative introduction followed by a description of each church complementing Alex Ramsay's photographs. The churches vary enormously in their scale, date and location. The small, now unconsecrated, 14th-century chapel at Rotherwas near Hereford survived centuries of official persecution and more informal terror from local anti-Catholics. The 19th-century church of St Everilda in Yorkshire was built after Catholic Emancipation, but although off the beaten track in the park of a big house it still hid its interior magnificence behind non-committal, blank walls. The Gothic churches of architect Joseph Hansom strike wonder into the hearts of their visitors: at Manchester's Holy Name he contrived a space of breath-taking vastness - architecture designed to shock and awe. Early-20th-century church architects adopted a lighter - and in some cases extraordinary - approach that gave Rochdale a church with a Byzantine dome and a wall of sumptuous mosaics. All these are important, architecturally, decoratively, historically and socially, and each has an additional powerful and poignant dimension because of their remarkable stories.
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