The Ecclesiological Society

Reference and research
Finding information on churches, their furnishings and use

This page started life as a bibliography. How old fashioned! It now merges on-line resources and bibliographic resources. 

You may also want to look at our Organisations page (speaks for itself) and our Links page, which concentrates on individual churches and groups of churches.


Principles of church building. Takes you to a page on our site which links to sites with a serious discussion of the principles of church building.

Catholic Encyclopedia This giant work available on-line. Invaluable.

Glossary of medieval architecture. A useful illustrated guide to terms used in medieval architecture. Here is another very full glossary.

Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies This links a good many medieval reference sites, of high scholarly quality. For example it will take you to the Medieval Source Book .

London reference sites. A very extensive list of reference sites of all types  - many of the sites listed are of national scope.

Nearby churches. Type in a church, and find what other churches are nearby. Useful for genealogists.

Photos of Pevsner's buildings (many churches) - the Corbel project. A project to digitally photography all country buildings listed in Pevsner's Buildings of England.

Pevsner. Website of the famous series of architectural guidebooks.

Recent books about churches. For recent books of ecclesiological interest, see our Society's newsletter (three times a year, free to members) which carries short reviews, and lists recent publications. Here are some recent lists from the newsletter.

Urban Conservation Glossary A useful site for the definition of architectural terms, with accompanying illustrations. A thesaurus will be found on English Heritage Thesaurus.

Archaeology A searchable index of UK archaeological investigations, now being beta tested.

Care and conservation of churches. For books on the care and conservation of churches, contact the various specialist groups listed under 'organisations' in the frame to the left. The link given here is a web-site with a  listing of such books, (but it  may not be fully up to date).   If you know of other such books not listed here, please let us know. For an excellent website on this subject, go to

Geometric design of a medieval church. Sensible article on the geometric principles underlying the desing of the thirteenth-century church of St Germain, Troyes. Considers the evidence for more than one approach.

Painting on Light. An exhibition at the Paul Getty museum, comparing the prints and stained glass of Durer and his contemporaries. Click on 'exhibition highlights' on the left panel.

Images of England. A project to provide a photograph of every listed building in England ('listed' means of the building is of special interest). Expensive and slow project by English Heritage, but getting there, and will provide a useful reference tool. Worth registering to get the advanced search facilities, but the registration screen may not be encrypted, so don't use any secret passwords.


Armenian ecclesiastical objects This is the on-line version of an exhibition held at the British Library.

Byzantine churches. This is a listing of recent books on Byzantine churches. This is a bibliography of early Byzantine Church Architecture in the Balkans and Crimea.

Cemeteries. There is a considerable amount of material on cemeteries on the web, ranging from scholarly material on Anglo-Saxon cemeteries to stunning photographs of angels in cemeteries. The link at the beginning of this paragraph takes you to a very full link page. Here is the Association for Gravestone Studies.

Californian missions. A useful list of links to sites about the Californian missions.


Date of Easter and other festivals. Fantastic calculator.

Anglican liturgies from around the world. A good set of links.

List of worship and liturgy sites An incredible storehouse of sites, both theoretical and practical. Published by the Lutheran chuch.

Canon law. Canon law of various countries.

Bibliographies of Anglican writers, and Prayer Book. An excellent site for, well, bibliographies of early Anglican writers, including the Prayer Book. Some of the texts can be downloaded. Links to similar sites. Here are the prayer-books. And here is a link for the rather different Directory of Worship introduced during the Interregnum, to replace the prayer book. And here is the excellent Project Canterbury, making classic Anglo-Catholic texts available online.

Ceremonial Curiosities and Queer Sights in Foreign Churches (Edward Forse), 1938.

Byzantine Links Links to sites for liturgy, icons etc.

Hymn tunes - extraordinarily detailed academic history of hymn tunes - search by humn tune. Metrical psalms - multiple historic tunes for each psalm.


A bibliography of the Warham Guild. The Warham Guild was founded to make Anglican ornament and furniture.

Material History of American Religion Project Short bibliography, and some on-line illustrated articles. Updated with an 'article of the month' and an 'illustration of the month'. Well worth a visit.

Ashmolean Museum brass rubbings. Listing of brass rubbings at this renowned Oxford museum.

Organs The link is to the National Pipe Organ Register, which allows online searching of some 25,000 organ specifications, some with online pictures. It also has links to the British Organ Archive, and the Directory of British Organ Builders.

Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society Good site, with searchable online database, including many churches, some with pictures.


Bibliography of medieval iconography, bestiaries, hagiography. Good bibliographies produced by the University of Illinois. Some online links. Jan 2001 Another bibliography produced by Rutgers.

Symbols in Christian art and architecture. Handy quick-guide. A sensible site.

Biographies of saints online. Not yet complete, but a very full set of biographies of saints, both major and minor. Excellent site. Here is another very well-informed site about Saint George,  and a full site, properly documented, with a large number of images, about Saint Sebastian. (Jan 2001) And we should not overlook St Charles the Martyr (King Charles I)

The Journal of William Dowsing. Dowsing was an English puritan. In 1643 and 1644, acting under Parliamentary instructions, he destroyed much imagery in about 250 churches in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. He kept a diary - or Journal - of what he did.

<>Possible images of Wodan site 1 and site 2.  Basic claim of these two sites is that images of Wodan persisted into Romanesque and early Gothic carving. Seems to be a strong overlap with the 'foliate man' or 'Green man'. Is this hypothesis reasonable? - this webmaster has no idea, but the sequence of images is striking. Here is Nigel Rushbrooke's Green man site. And Cercles Church green man, and some of its European counterparts.

<>University of Leicester searchable database of medieval wall paintings. No pictures, as far as I can see, but description and references. Medival wall painting in the English parish church does have pictures.

Dr Graham Jones's pages of saints cults, both in the UK and overseas. Concentrates on understanding how devotion to the saints operated and is still manifested.

<>Sheilanagigs and other exhibitionist figures. These figures crop up both in the British Isles and Western Europe. The link is to one of several serious sites on the topic - use their links page to find the others.


Victorian architects. Bob Speel's pocket biographies of Victorian artists and architects.

Frank Brangwyn. Site devoted to this designer, including his works in stained glass.

Charles Eamer Kempe Site devoted to this Victorian stained glass designer.

Augustus Welby Pugin Site devoted to this seminal figure in Victorian ecclesiastical design

Comper Trust  Devoted to the work of Sir Ninian Comper, church architect and designer.

Frank Wills  Early American exponent of Gothic Revival architecture in America and Canad.


Willibrords Abbey booklist and fiche ordering service. The library of Willibrords Abbey, Holland is very extensive and sensibly catalogued under main subjects. What is more, you can order microfiche copies of works in the library at reasonable cost.

Surveys of church manuscripts in the United Kingdom. An attempt to list publications which have surveyed church manuscripts. Useful jumping off point.

Select bibliography under construction. We are constructing a select bibliography. This is work in progress, and will probably proceed slowly. Suggestions and assistance welcome.

Books and articles on medieval art and drama. This is the list produced by the Early Drama Art and Music group, based at Kalamazoo in the States. A very full list, which contains much of value to those interested in medieval churches.

British Library. You can search the collections of the British Library on-line, using keywords.

London Libraries. Finally, if you are in London, England, there are several libraries with excellent card indexes or specialist holdings which will often throw up journal articles or other material which you would otherwise have missed. Least known is the library of the Council for the Care of Churches, specialist and helpful. It holds files for every parish church in the UK, some archive material, a fine collection of Edwardian postcards of churches, a set of the ongoing Church Recorders reports on individual churches, and a very full collection of books on churches. Additionally there are the British Architectural Library (Royal Institute of British Architects), the library of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Lambeth Palace Library, including its repository of ICBS church plans, now available as, Doctor Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London (especially for non-conformist material) and the Guildhall Library (for regional material, and for London in particular).

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