Medieval Birmingham Churches 1086-1850

Birmingham’s abundant heritage of medieval and later architecture, so evident in her ancient churches, is examined and richly illustrated within the pages of this forthcoming book.

 

These churches survive, often broken, some fragmentary, some almost intact, all reshaped as the needs of each generation have dictated change. They survive as museums to the life and faith of people who built, lived, worked, ate, loved, hated, laughed, cried and slept around them. They survive to most in the modern age as places of distant memory, as places to gather in celebration of the unbroken traditions of baptism, marriage and burial of the dead.

 

The shape, furnishing, style, imagery, art and decoration of the ancient churches of Birmingham represent a great deal of the elaborate and tangled history of life in the middle lands of this country for nearly nine hundred years. The men, women and children of each community were heavily involved with these timeworn buildings, not just for baptism, weddings and funerals, but on a daily basis. These hoary, old structures were expressions of their faith, but they also lay at the core of their existence. These were the gathering spaces, the social nerve-centres and the heart-beat of each community. To understand the daily comings and goings of rough peasant, street-wise ale wife, hard-nosed merchant or battle-hardened knight to these buildings, is to understand much of the history of those times.

 

Museums they may be, infrequently visited, often misunderstood, but still places of worship, neglected by most and loved by the few.

 

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