You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Church’ category.

Where do I begin …how on earth do I review this magnificent and comprehensive book in a few words?

It is, let me stress from the outset, the book I have always wanted to read on the church in 18th century Britain. For it not only covers the history of the  fabulous new builds that took place during this century, and developments in architectural trends, with enough architectural plans to satisfy even me, but it also details the life of the church and churchgoers from cradle to grave, see the Funeral Ticket of Mrs Mary Thomas,below:

and the author writes in great and easily digested detail on how the church operated on a daily basis.

The author is a noted expert on the Anglican Church in the 18th century,and one of his earlier books is a favourite of mine, shown below, but I hesitated to reckoned it to you fearing it was of specialist interest only.

Not so with this latest book newly published by the ever excellent Yale.

This is a block buster of a book, comprehensively and beautifully illustrated and very well written. Its only down side is its massive weight (I’m very glad I and it delivered and didn’t have to carry it home, my apologies my local independent bookseller).

It concentrates on the Anglican church and its life within these magnificent buildings, but does include chapters on Catholic chapels,Dissenting chapels, churches in the United States,country house chapels, such as the one at Stoneleigh,whose magnificent plaster ceiling is shown below:

and the Gothick revival chapel at The Vyne, in Hampshire,both places Jane Austen knew well.

This book is invaluable, for references to the Church in Jane Austens works abound,and if you ever wanted to know more of country house chapels the parish churhces or even the architects she mentions, then this is the book for you.

The chapel at Southerton in Mansfield Park was most surely based on the cool Palladainism of the chapel at Stoneleigh,whereas Fanny Price’s sympathies were mor in tune with ancient structures.  The cover shows St Georges Parish Church,  Hanover Square the church where the ever fashionably-minded Mary Crawford imagines Fanny and Henry Crawford will marry…

I am at your service and Henry’s, at an hour’s notice. I should like the scheme, and we would make a little circuit, and shew you Everingham in our way, and perhaps you would not mind passing through London, and seeing the inside of St. George’s, Hanover Square. Only keep your cousin Edmund from me at such a time: I should not like to be tempted.
Mansfield Park, Chapter 43

The book even makes mention of one of Jane Austin’s possibly less favoured architects, the architect appointed by Robert Ferrars friend, Lord Coutland, Joseph Bonomi:

“For my own part,” said he, “I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me, and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage. My friend Lord Courtland came to me the other day on purpose to ask my advice, and laid before me three different plans of Bonomi’s. I was to decide on the best of them. ‘My dear Courtland,’ said I, immediately throwing them all into the fire, ‘do not adopt either of them, but by all means build a cottage.’ And that, I fancy, will be the end of it.
Sense and Sesnibility, Chapter 36.

The book is massive – just under 800 pages- and very heavy,and comes with a CD ROM of documentation of the design and construction histories of 272 ecclesiastical buildings. An elegant solution to space constraints.

It is however packed, simply packed, with fascinating information, about the church, the churches,the people who commissioned them and built them,and the lives of the congregation and priests within the churches themselves.

I highly recommend it to anyone interested in finding out more about the Church in Jane Austen’s day, its buildings and its operation, for she was  so intimately connected to it, through her own family and through the lives of her imagined character. This book clears up many misunderstandings or puzzles arising from her works. I would urge you to buy it or seek a view of it in your nearest library.

Let’s continue our clerical theme this week, shall we? As we noted in last week’s AustenOnly post accessible here, in the BBC’s 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice two churches were used, both for the exteior shots( no interior shots were included in the production) of Hunsford parish church.  In the 2o05 film version starring Keira Knightley, again two churches were used, one for the exterior and one for the interior. Today we shall concentrate on the church that provided the interior,the parish church of St Peter, Brooke, a tiny church in a tiny village near Oakham in Rutland.

St Peter, Brooke is a very special parish church, being a rare survivor. First built in the 13th century, it was virtually totally reconstructed during the latter years of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign,and most of the Elizabethan features have survived to this day- quite a feat considering the upheavals of  the English Civil War and the improving hands of the Victorians.

It has been estimated that the date of reconstruction is circa 1579, but it is clear, looking at the arches in the nave that divide the south and north aisles of the church,that some of the 13th century  bones of the building survived to have the Elizabethan structure built around them.

The reason why St Peter Brooke was built in this era, at a time when very little church design and building was being undertaken , was probably because its benefactor, Sir Andrew Noel,  had acquired a former monastic property in the village and using that as his starting point, was building Brooke House (sadly no longer in existence) as his home. He probably used the same building team that built the house to restore the village church.

The surviving Elizabethan features are to be found in the north and south chancel arches and the wooden furnishings in the church- the box pews, benches, pulpit and the balustraded screen that separates the nave from the chancel,seen above. The low level chancel floor- only two steps higher than the nave, as you can see above – is also an Elizabethan feature. When you stand within the chancel, and the screen door is closed you are standing in a rare church device: an Elizabethan Communion Room, totally separated by the screen from the preaching area of the nave that contains the pulpit.

And it is the nave that we first see in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, as Mr Collins’ rather bored and indeed somnolent congregation, with the honourable exception of the supportive Charlotte, is sitting listening to his sermon.

A child plays with a spinning top(  a rather noisy occupation to be secret in such a small church, silly child) before Mr Collins who is preaching, badly,  from the pulpit.

The Elizabethan pulpit is tiny. As you can see.

I often wonder if the diminutive actor Tom Hollander was chosen for the role because he would fit not that pulpit,and someone more in keeping with the build of the Reverend Collins as described in Jane Austen’s text, a Hugh Bonneville for example,  would not have managed it:

He was a tall, heavy-looking young man of five-and-twenty. His air was grave and stately, and his manners were very formal…

The chancel -the area behind the pulpit was used as a kind of family pew in the film.

As the place where Lady Catherine, Anne de Bourgh and Darcy sit

while Colonel Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth Bennet


of Darcy’s awful interference in Bingley and Jane’s  love affair.

It is in fact an empty space, no seating normally stands there,

apart from the pews in which Lady Catherine’s family party sat.

The most flamboyant feature in this beautifully restrained and modest church (and which was not seen in the film) is the  tomb of Charles Noel, son of Andrew Noel, mentioned above, to be found in the side chapel next to the chancel

He is beautifully carved…

And the inscription to his tomb, written in latin,

translates as follows:

Charles, son of Andrew Noel, brave and high

his dust inhabits here his soul the sky

Mature and Worth, Valour and Wisdom too

in this one boy strove all their gifts to show.

Worth made him duteous: Nature a comley youth.

Mars to be brave: Bright Wisdom, loving truth.

Yet even he in youth’s fair Springtime pined

As Buds will perish in a bitter wind

He died in 1619 at the age of 28 years.R.I.P.

My poor photographs do not do justice to this tiny and peaceful place. If you ever do get the change to visit, then  do: the village and the surrounding countryside are perfect, though hard to access on public transport. Regular services are still held at St Peter, and it is very much a living church. I hope you have enjoyed this visit to a very special location.

If you are not a Wordpress member, just add your email here to subscribe to this site.

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Visit our sister site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: A Jane Austen Gazetteer

An Invitation to Visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen’s Letters

Visit our sister site: Jane Austen's Letters

Click on the image above to visit our Sister Site: Jane Austen's Letters

Join Austen Only on Twitter

Recently Tweeted

Austenonly on Pinterest

Follow Me on Pinterest

Categories

Copyright Notice

Copyright: This site and all images and information complied within are copyright Austenonly.com unless otherwise stated/attributed.No permission is given/implied for any use of this site, the information and images contained therein, for any commercial use whatsoever. No material may be copied in any form without first obtaining written permission of the author, save that extracts of posts may be used on other non-commcerial sites on the internet, provided that full and clear credit is given to Austenonly.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content( that is, a link must be provided to the original post/image with full attribution ). The existence of the RSS or ATOM feeds in no way authorises wholesale or part transmission of posts or parts of posts to another site without prior permission being given and attribution stated. Any sites using RSS or ATOM feeds in this way without obtaining prior written permission of the author of this blog will be subject to legal action.

Currently Reading

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmas by Rebecca Smith

Jane Austen’s Guide to Modern Life’s Dilemmasby Rebecca Smith

Recently Read

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

James Wyatt, Architect to George III by John Martin Robinson

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

Uvedale Price (1747-1829): Decoding the Picturesque” by Charles Watkins and Ben Cowell

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

"The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse, published by Prospect Books.

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

The Letters of Mrs Lefroy: Jane Austen’s Beloved Friend, edited by Helen Lefroy and Gavin Turner

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

Understanding Jane Austen: Key Concepts in the Six Novels

The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

The London Square” by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

"What Matters in Jane Austen?:Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved" by John Mullan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

May, Lou and Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland by Sophia Hillan

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum” by Janette Bright and Gillian Clarke

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Vauxhall Gardens: A History by David Coke and Alan Borg

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Facing Beauty: Painted Women and Cosmetic Art by Aileen Ribeiro

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Johan Zoffany by Mary Webster

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear  by Serena Dyer

Bergere,Poke and Cottage: Understanding Early Nineteenth Century Headwear” by Serena Dyer

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons by Gill Perry with Joseph Roach and Shearer West

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Jane Austen's Letters (4th Edition) edited by Deirdre Le Faye

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Ice Cream by Ivan Day

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Rooms With a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century by Sabine Rewald

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

Pastel Portraits of 18th Century Europe by Katharine Baetjer and Marjorie Shelly

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain by Terry Friedman

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion 1795-1815 by Christina Barreto and Martin Lancaster

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

Regarding Thomas Rowlandson: His Life, Art and Acquaintance by Matthew and James Payne

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Omnipotent Magician:Lancelot "Capability" Brown by Jane Brown

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, Second Edition.

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, edited by Patricia Phagan

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Ralph Allen, Builder of Bath by Diana Winsor

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Jellies and their Moulds by Peter Brears

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

Sir Thomas Lawrence by Michael Levey

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Georgian Buildings of Bath by Walter Ison

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

The Catalogue to the Chatsworth Attic Sale

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

State Beds and Throne Canopies:Care and Conservation by Val Davies

 The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century by Timothy Brittain-Catlin

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital by Dan Cruickshank

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

London's Country Houses by Caroline Knight

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill by Michael Snodin

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories by Sue Prichard

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany's Menus, Medicine and Manners by Katherine Cahill

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

Mrs Delany and her Circle by Mark Laird and Alicia Weisberg-Roberts

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 1)

The Brabourne Edition of Jane Austen's Letters at CUP (Vol 2)

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801

Birds of Passage: Henrietta Clive's Travels in South India 1798-1801 edited by Nancy K Shields

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Enterprising Women and Shipping in the 19th Century by Helen Doe

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Over a Red Hot Stove edited by Ivan Day

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography

Coke of Norfolk 1754-1843: A Biography by Susanna Wade Martins

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830

Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain

Paul Sandby: Picturing Britain Edited by John Bonehill and Stephen Daniels

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

Silhouette: The Art of Shadow by Emma Rutherford

The Dress of the People by John Styles

The Dress of the People by John Styles

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

Behind Closed Doors by Amanda Vickery

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

The Compleat Housewife by Eliza Smith, Chawton Edition

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

A New System of Domestic Cookery by Maria Rundell

Austenonly Flickr

February 2019
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728  
Protected by Copyscape plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.
Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
UK Blog Directory
wordpress counter
%d bloggers like this: