Richard Wheeler has compiled this comprehensive guide to Oxfordshire’s Best Churches, a county with outstanding churches, which highlights the key features, building development and contents of over 100 church buildings. Churches in the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles are all presented as well as churches built from limestone, flint and chalk, and ironstone.
A certain level of architectural knowledge is assumed of the reader but an introduction into the key architectural movements in Gothic church architecture helps to provide a basis for the detailed case studies which are illustrated by plans and images. Wheeler explains how it is rare for a church to adhere to one style of architecture, and how due to additions and changes under different patrons and clergy throughout the building’s life, most churches will display a range of styles.
The book acts as a wonderful guide to Oxfordshire’s churches with many images. The tangential subjects provide relief with interesting details on wall paintings, stonework, woodwork and stained glass, including in most cases the time of their introduction into the church and their significance. Less famed details are also highlighted.
Fiona Johnson (Work Placement Volunteer Summer 2014)
Oxfordshire's Best Churches, by Richard Wheeler published by Fircone Books (2013). £25.