The Eighteenth-Century Church in Britain

Terry Friedman

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This ambitious and generously illustrated study is an in-depth account of the architectural character of a vast range of eighteenth-century ecclesiastical buildings, including the Anglican parish churches, medieval cathedrals repaired and modified during the period, and Dissenting and Catholic chapels and mausoleums. The first substantial study of the subject to appear in over half a century, Terry Friedman's work explores not only the physical aspects of these buildings but church-going activities of Britons from the cradle to the grave. In addition, fully documented, chronologically sequenced design and construction histories of 272 key ecclesiastical buildings are presented on an accompanying CD-ROM.

Terry Friedman is one of the leading historians of eighteenth-century British architecture and the author of James Gibbs (1984) and The Georgian Parish Church: Monuments to Posterity (2004).

“It is the most ambitious and deeply researched history of English church architecture in the 18th century so far undertaken….The scope is breathtaking.”—John Martin Robinson, Country Life

“….a prodigious feat of scholarship…..An essential book.”—Christopher Woodward, Building Design

“This ambitious and generously illustrated study is an in-depth account of the architectural character of a vast range of ecclesiastical buildings….The first substantial study of the subject to appear in over half a century, it explores not only the physical aspects of these buildings, but church-going activities from the cradle to the grave.”—Church Building

“…..this book is of such obvious importance that anyone at all serious about the history of architecture or the history of the Church simply must own it. It is a brilliant insight into the buildings of the period, and profoundly revises our understanding of the religious life in the 18th century.”—Revd Dr William Whyte, Church Times

“……assured and insightful, and as a whole his study greatly enriches our understanding of eighteenth-century church architecture….. [A] magisterial book.”—Thomas Keymer, Times Literary Supplement

“……a sumptuous guide to a neglected age of church building, offering authoritative coverage and impeccable scholarship, and depicting the eclectic range of styles used by Georgian architects.”—Nigel Aston, The Tablet

“…. [A] rich future quarry for anyone at all interested in the 18th – century British place of worship.”—Roger White, Historic House

“…. [An] impressive and lavishly illustrated study.”—Contemporary Review

“It should be recommended reading for all eighteenth-century students and will remain essential for all future enquiries for many years to come.”—Kerry Downes, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter No.105

"A compulsive desire to get under the skin of the Anglican church through contemporary source material pervades Terry Friedman's fulsomely documented and generously illustrated survey. Richly endowed with contemporary quotations, it brings a vast quantity of new primary material to the subject… Incisively written and meticulously edited, his book will remain a standard work on the subject for decades to come."—Gordon Higgott, Burlington Magazine

"The volume uis handsomely presented - a great credit to all concerned - and as an imposing, clear, authoritative study it will hold position as the standard work for many years to come." — Northern History Journal

"Mr. Friedman's lavishly illustrated text provides a comprehensive view of the trends and developments in church architecture in eighteenth-century Britain; the final chapter looks beyond Britain to ecclesiastical architecture in North America, the Caribbean, and India....[B]eautifully produced and filled with detail, this book is an invaluable resource."Martha F. Bowden, The Scriblerian and the Kit-Cats

‘This book shows not merely the rise and fall of ecclesiastical classicism but nuances within it, as well as exploring productively its relationship with indigenous gothic traditions, which produce spectacular if bizarre hybrids… it is a treasure trove of evidential detail for historians.’—Gareth Atkins, Journal of Religious History.


Wilnner of the 2012 William MB Berger Prize for British Art History as given by the Berger Collection Educational Trust and the British Art Journal.

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2011 in the Architecture category. 

ISBN: 9780300159080
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Co-publisher: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
800 pages, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2
520 b/w + 185 color illus.
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