The Ecclesiological Society

Sites of the month

We welcome your ideas for 'sites of the month'.
If you have any suggestions, please send us an e-mail.

Note: for about ten years from 1998 this page was updated more or less monthly.
Then things slowed down, and for the last few years updates have been more very irregular.

(scroll down for previous sites)
Bishop Edward King's Chapel, Cuddesdon  
The above image is copyright

Best modern churches competition
The winners of the UK's 'Best Modern Churches' competition, the results announced in 2013.
This image is of the Bishop Edward King chapel, at Cuddesdon, Oxford.

The images below are copyright

Hessett The medieval stained glass photographic archive
The image shows stained glass at Hessett church. This is one of about 22,000 images of stained glass at about 500 locations, created by Painton Cowen in conjuntion with the Centre for Medieval Studies at York University.
Balquihidder A corpus of Scottish Medieval  Parish Churches (pilot)
The image shows one of the two churches in the churchyard at Balquihidder. This is from the pilot corpus of Scottish Medieval parish churches, which has information on 105 parish churches in the dioceses of Dunblane and Dunkeld.
st stephen's grimsby The churches of Sir Walter Tapper
The image shows St Stephen's, Grimsby by Sir Walter Tapper,
demolished in the 1970s. John Whitworth's site is devoted to Tapper's churches, and is well worth a visit - and if you have information to contribute
about Tapper, you would be particularly welcome!
church seat of about 1870 Church furnishing catalogue of about 1870
This is one item in an English church furnishing catalogue of about 1870.
Looking through the pages of this catalogue is very informative about
the styles of furnishing which were popular at the time,
and (in passing) is a reminder that much Victorian
church work was 'shop work' - done from standard patterns, rather
than by artist-craftsmen creating fresh work on each occasion.
Note, this is a big download (13Mb).
kvikne kirke Tours of four Norwegian churches
John Baxter wrote to us as follows
Apart from stave churches, the churches in Norway receive little attention
on a world view. At Tynset, north of Oslo, in ěsterdalen
(the eastern valleys) we are particularly lucky
in that we have churches that are considered old for this country:
three of the four date from the eighteenth century.
With this in mind, the church has commissioned a
series of virtual tours of its churches,
which are available on the English portion of their website.
Austurhli­ church Places of worshiip in Tower Hamlets

This website is one of the outcomes of an intriguing project in Tower Hamlets,
East London, to map and trace the history of all the places of
worship in the area, of all faiths. Go to the website and then choose the map,
which is interactive and allows you to find out about each of the 167 buildings.
The overriding impression is of adaptation and re-use.
Austurhli­ church Churches of Iceland

Thanks to our member Alec Hamilton for alerting us to this site, which has pictures of a huge number of Iceland's churches. Only disadvantage is that it's in Icelandic, but as Alec points out, the image are inspiring enough for this not to matter. (As it happens, we tried to find an online Icelandic-English translation tool, but it only made us laugh). To use the site, all you need to know
is that the site is organised by 'deanery' on the front page (though this might be a mistranslation of diocese), and then by parish.
This is the church at Austurhli­ in the diocese of  KjalarnesprˇfastsdŠmi
bridgnorth baptist chapel Nonconformist chapels of Shropshire

A website with photos of some four hundred nonconformist chapels in Shropshire, including those closed or used for other purposes.
Includes thumbnail history of each building. This is the West Castle Street Baptist chapel in Bridgenorth, built 1824.
defender Churches ad hoc

Fine b&w photography of American churches, with some very witty captions.
suderberg Round tower churches across Europe

A site devoted to round-towered churches across Europe.
Lots of pictures of each church, including interioris.
No synthesis, but it's fascinating to see regional variations on a common form.
dragon attaching elephant The medieval bestiary

A first class site devoted to medieval beliefs about animals, real and fabulous.
So many medieval churches have representations of animals in them -
here's an excellent online resource to find out what they symbolised.
Note: To find a particular animal, go to the site, then click on 'Beasts'.
Once you've found your animal, click on 'Gallery' for pictures.
st stephen's house chapel, cowley,
                oxford Lawrence, OP on Comper - and more Flick R

An excellent entry point into Flick R, the community photo site. Here are some excellent photos of Comper's work in Oxford,  some with extended commentary by  Fr Anthony Symondson.And then explore as you like, perhaps looking more Lawrence's work, or that of Allan Barton, or Martin Beek, Simon K, or cbnewham
saint georges des gardes Church towers of France

A large (nearly 10,000) and growing set of images of church towers and other exterior photographs of churches in France. This is the church of St George des Gardes about to be demolished. (There is a silly entry page to the site. Ignore the stupid cows, and click 'visiteur'.)
askola belfry, finland Finland churches

There are 196 Finnish church buildings on this site. It is an interesting exercise to ask, how many of them are notably different from those found elsewhere?
christ redempteur Christ Redempteur (lowish resolution, fast loading)

Our thanks to member David Critchley for alerting us to this site
A video of a modern Roman Catholic altar being prepared for the Tridentine Mass. The contrast is instructive.

The original of this video is on the website of La Chapelle du Christ Redempteur, but we have found it very slow-loading (if you use this version, go to 'Videos', then choose 'MÚtamorphose', using the horizontal scroll bar to get the whole picture; there are other videos on the site).

A version at lower resolution and faster-loading is here (or by clicking on the picture to the left, or title above).
You will, of course, need broadband.
cathredral that
                never was
The cathedral that never was

This is a photograph of the model of the Roman Catholic cathedral
designed for Liverpool by Lutyens. It became too expensive, and was never  built. The model itself is enormous.

This site takes you to the archives of an exhibition about the model and the cathedral.
s ambrogio
Churches (and other buildings) in panorama

Our thanks to member David Critchley for alerting us to this site, which consists of 360 panoramas, often covering ceiling and floor as well. The link takes you to S. Ambrogio in Milan. Click here for a link to Vatican Basilicas in Rome on the same site, and click here for an index to other images on this site, including a goodly number of churches (scroll half-way down the page to Arounder special projects).
You will, of course, need broadband.
glendalough round tower 52 round towers of Ireland

The round towers of Ireland, photographed and described.
And, as a bonus, a good collection of Irish high crosses,
and some photos of ancient churches. All put together neatly,
lovingly and effectively by F J and K D Schorr.
Illionois -
                log church at Cahokia
George Fellowes Prynne

A site concentrating on a single Victorian church architect, and one of
considerable interest - George Fellowes Prynne. The site (by Ruth Sharville) provides a biography and a list of his works, with extended commentary on
the more important ones.
The image to the left is of the design (not built) for All Saints, Millbrook, Cornwall.
Illionois -
                log church at Cahokia

A site with an excellent series of photographs of churches in St Louis, Missouri
(USA, in case you were wondering), sometimes called the 'Rome of the West'.
This is Mark Scott Abeln's blog, and he combines pithy, informed comment with (glory be) pictures of the insides as well as the outside of the churches.
To explore his site, try scrolling down the right hand scroll bar until you get to
the index of photos (scroll quite a long way down).

The above image is of the Holy Family Log Church, Cahokia, built 1799.
Archimon: Religious architecture in the Netherlands

A good collection of images and commentary from all over the Netherlands.
The above image is of St Anthonius van Padua at Heilig Landstichting, in the province of Gelderland. Built 1913-1915, it is heavily influenced by Byzantine models. Click here to go straight to that church.

Note: this website has lots of pop up adverts. Block them using your browser settings, or minimise them on appearance (don't close them, that only encourages the next one).
daddi triptych
The  Virgin and child enthroned

Excellent mini-site dedicated to this mid-fourteenth century Florentine triptych. Informative and very well laid out. Includes well-presented movies on how it was gilded and painted. This is all part of Art and Architecture website, run by the Courtauld Gallery.
st georges
The Beasts of St George's

Fascinating site about the carving of lions and unicorns for the steeple of St George's, Bloomsbury, London.
                peter, burnham, bucks
Stained glass in Buckinghamshire churches
A very full listing and set of photographs of stained glass in Buckinghamshire churches, with more than 3,000 photos of nearly 1600 windows. Each is properly documented. This excellent site is the work of Monica and Cliff Robinson.

gardead Churches dedicated to St Nicholas
The site of the St Nicholas Centre, informative and very browsable,
with a large set of images of the patron saint, whose name transmogrified to Santa Claus, and a collection of churches from all over the world dedicated to the Saint. If you want to follow up St Nicholas, try Anglican World or the Saint Nicholas Society.
gardead Simon Knott's Norfolk Churches site
Now Simon has moved from Norfolk to Suffolk. Lots of good things from this wonderful county. This picture is the old, destroyed church at St Mary, Burgh Parva, Melton Constable. Only the tower, and a few bits and pieces, remain.
If this site doesn't want to make you get in the car, nothing will . . .
(For those who don't know Simon's Suffolk site, it's here.)
gardead Romanesque churches of France
A good selection of Romanesque churches in France. Commentary in French.
saint maria
                sweden Churches and other information about Mani, southern  Greece

This links to a lovely site created by John Chapman,  based on many years visiting
the Byzantine and other churches of this corner of Greece. Full of information and
illustrations, well written, and with useful introductory material.
If this doesn't make you want to visit Mani, then nothing will. 
saint maria sweden Panoramas of some churches in Sweden (and more . . .)
This links to a site created by Jochum Berg with panoramas of a number of interesting churches in Sweden, and other buildings. The panoramas enable you to pan around the building, turning through a 360 degree circle. The church shown here is St Maria, which has fourteenth century vault painting (go straight there).

Now for the 'more . . .'
We encountered this site as a link from another fascinating site, (thanks to David Critchley for alerting us to this site).
In their 'Resources' section, under 'Photogalleries' is a good collection of links to church photo sites, including the Swedish one to the left.
(The Dellachiesa site is published by Aquinas Publishing Ltd, and reflects
their attitude to churches - paying due attention to tradition and beauty.)
bunge gotland Churches of Gotland
The churches of Gotland, Sweden. An interior and exterior image per church, and an informed commentary..
                of eve at sistine chapel The Sistine Chapel
The frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, with short and informed commentary on each of sections. Part of  the Web Gallery of Art.
This site also has sections on the Brancacci Chapel and San Francesco in Arrezo.
st mary redcliffe boss St Mary Redcliffe roof boss of labrynth
An informed and fascinating site dedicated to labrynths. It includes a section devoted to labrynths in English churches (which the above link takes you too) and another on labrynths in Nordic churches (in their archive section).
To go to the website home page, click here.
danish elephant Danish medieval wall-paintings
The link takes you to an excellent site of Danish medieval wall paintings -
to the left is an elephant fighting some other beast.
All in Danish, and we cannot make the English search engine work
(if you manage, please send us an e-mail and tell us how).
So we found the elephant by using one of the other indices, and recognising the Danish word.

Added May 2005: here is another site of Danish wall paintings, in English.
agonges The Romanesque churches of the Bourbonnais (central France)

Very high quality site, including excellent 360 degree controllable images.
Produced by Stephen Murray, Professor of Art History & Archeology at Columbia University in New York  as part of his program for documenting various churches in France through photography,  videography, measurements, etc, exploiting what he calls the 'New Media'.
A lecture by him about this may be found at -
 go about half-way down to "Medieval Architecture".... (November 4, 2003).
Thanks to the Churchcrawling chat group for alerting us to this fine site.

majestas Wall paintings of the Romanesque Churches of the Pays de la Loire,
Central Val de Loire, Poitou-Charente and Basse-Normandie

A very full collection of images of wall-paintings, together with external views of the churches, and some other interior objects. Some of the pictures are not quite as sharp as one would hope, and (apart from a couple of short introductory essays) there is little commentary. But the pictures cover many churches, and show the power of the internet to provide multiple images without the expense of colour printing. The image is the majestas a St Aignant-sur-Cher.

                bubb The Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi:
Medieval Stained Glass in Britain
With a picture gallery of 12,000 (at June 2004) stained glass images this is an important tool for exploring medieval stained glass in Britain. The image is fifteenth-century glass from the church of St Mary, Melbury Bubb (sic), Dorset
st albans
                psalter harrowing of hell The St Albans Psalter

An excellent website devoted to the St Albans Psalter, of about 1130.
Fine images of the psalter (under 'Transcription and Translation'), with translation and commentary on the iconography and artistry.  The image is of the 'Harrowing of Hell'.

st gallen St Gallen Cathedral, Switzerland, taking off
St Gallen Cathedral, Switzerland, a masterpiece of baroque religious architecture, flies gracefully away, silhouetted against an early morning sky. More detail. For more static pictures of the cathedral, which does not appear to have its own website, try this private picture album:
Roger's photo gallery
pisa Pisa
A thorough site about Pisa, including interesting archive material. (The  picture imagines the collapse of the tower.)  Navigation not always entirely obvious, but you'll get there. Amongst other things, the site includes 3D explorations, which are very helpful, though heavy on bandwidth.
coptic Coptic churches in Egypt
An interesting and well-informed site about - well, about Coptic churches in Egypt. No map, so grab yourself an atlas. And very little about liturgy, which would have added an exrtra dimension. But a good site, none the less.
soro Some Danish churches
A personal selection of a few Danish churches, done by Allan Soedring.
Not a huge site, but clear photos and to-the-point linking commentary. The above link takes you to Soro church. At the bottom of the page are links to his other two church pages, or you can go straight there from here:
 Churches on Fyn   Churches on SjŠlland
anidhri Wall paintings in Crete
Ben van Dongen's chatty, personal and informative site -  an enjoyable read, focusing on the iconography rather than art history or dates.
athos Monasteries on Mount Athos
Each of the twenty monasteries has about a dozen photographs. Not an academic site, somewhat impressionistic, but with a nice flavour. Also contains introductory material about Athos and monasticism.
saenredam The church paintings of Pieter Saenredam (Utrecht)
A short video by the Getty Museum about the seventeenth-century
church paintings of Pieter Saenredam, concentrating on his work in Utrecht. A little thin, but good to be able to compare the actual buildings with the paintings..
provincetown Episcopal Church (USA) on-line exhibitions

Something different. The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts organises on-line exhibitions. These are created by different 'curators' who comment on the on-line exhibits. The glass to the left is from the exhibition called 'Art/Community Story', one of many.

barga Churches of Barga, north Italy
360-degree rotating interior views of all nine churches of this self-publicising but obviously lively medieval Tuscan city. This is the church of S. Elizabetta.
newbury St John's Newbury and Dykes Bower
Stephen Dykes Bower was an important English church architect of the twentieth century, responsible in the final years of his career for Westminster Abbey. He was President of this Society. St John's church is one of his finest, and this site also has information about some of his other work.
Go to the sections called 'A guided tour' (this link takes you straight there) and 'Dykes Bower Churches'.
                suffolk churches Simon's Suffolk Churches
An extraordinary and special site. Simon Knott has visited and
photographed nearly every church in Suffolk, and written an informed, personal and witty comments on each. Given that there are nearly 600, this is an amazing achievement. You may agree with him, he may annoy you, but you will not be bored..
chartres Architectural models from
The site is an excellent resource for architecture in general.
It includes a number of landmark churches, with both photos and 3D models
which you can download, and twist and turn to look at from different perspectives.

Includes simple models of Hagia Sophia and Christ Church, Spitalfields,
and walk-through models of Chartres Cathedral and
Kahn's First Unitarian Church at Rochester New York.

So give yourself 20 minutes to get underway, but it's worth it - a chance to understand some very special buildings.  1. First, download the free software  2. then  download the model 3. then you learn how to use the software to look at the model, which is very easy - use the icons at the bottom of the floating toolbar on the left

wissembourg Michelli's stained glass links
A very fine site of stained glass links, organised and explained by someone who knows what they are talking about.
demolition St Erkenwald's, Southend-on-Sea
John Whitworth's intriguing attempt to recreate Walter Tapper's church of
St Erkenwald's in cyberspace, following its demolition in 1995.
chapel hill Churchcrawler

Phil Draper's fine site, packed with enthusiasm and good churches.
Go here, too, for his site on Bristol churches.
From here you can also join the Churchcrawling discussion group.
Bookmark this site - it is updated regularly.

balgowan Stained glass of the Rope cousins
An excellent site about these two lady stained glass artists, who worked throughout much of the twentieth century, with their roots in the Arts and Crafts movement. Sit down quietly, and take time to enjoy this site; there is much to see.
Technical note: with my browser the thumbnails sometimes opened up in a completely eparate window, sometimes not. Not a problem; just a puzzle until I worked out what was going on.

reinli norway

Norwegian Stave Churches

July 2005. Link no longer works, and site seems to have disappeared.
As an alternative, for scholarly discussion try (thanks to David Critchley for spotting this) and for something with more photos, and lots of links to other photos, try


Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland
An important site. For the first time, an opportunity to see and compare a body of Romanesque sculpture.
At the moment (Jan 2002) the site has Berkshire online via a clickable map, with more to come.



A site created by the Franciscans in Bethlehem,
with a well- informed text and many recent and
historic pictures of the Basilica of the Nativity.

                  churches link

Churchesof Wales
An important database of pre-19th century welsh churches, sponosored by Cadw.
Just one external photograph per building, but a full and systematic description.


Churches and Monasteries of Constantinople
A good introduction - two or three images per building,
and short, informed and scholarly text.


Exeter Cathedral Keystones and Carvings
A splendid site on the medieval roof carvings in Exeter Cathedral. Photographs and authoritative commentary. An important record of a prime set of polychromatic English medieval carving, largely undamaged.

St Clement

Tin Chapels
A loving and well-designed site about 'tin tabernacles' - the temporary constructions used by congregations until their permanent church was built.

The Churches Conservation Trust
The Churches Conservation Trust looks after a large number of Anglican churches no longer required for worship. Many are remote, lonely, and atmospheric. This well-designed website lists and describes them all - use it next time you are taking a day out, to find beautiful buildings, lovingly cared for.

New Jersey Churches

Very full listing of New Jersey Churches with photographs and historical notes.
Use the database to find individual churches (left hand margin, half way down)
Friendly site - well worth a visit.

John Dando Sedding
Excellent site about this Victorian church architect. Biography, and articles about individual buildings, many illustrated with current and archival photographs.

Material History of American Religion Project: objects page
An 'object of the month' at this site, and our link takes you straight there.
Hard to tear yourself away - for example, what exactly is a 'preaching suit'? Note: Site now no longer updated.

<>  Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church
Subtitled 'a developing catalogue', there is  introductory material,
a bibliography, and numerous photographs. Bookmark this: it deserves support as it develops and grows.

  Virtual Ani
This city, found at the junction of Turkey and Armenia has a stunning collection of
churches. This is an excellent website.
Technical notes. The site used to crash, but now seems more stable. Send us an e-mail if  you have problems.
Note that each church is opened in a separate window, which is why the back key seems to disappear -
use the little cross  top right to close the window.

Mike Harding's Green Man Page
A nice collection of images of the green man.
Sensible text, and some illuminating comparisons with Asian examples.
For another site, full of pictures, see Nigel Rushbrook's Green Man Site

An extraordinary site. The Churches of Quebec dealt with in great detail.
This link takes you straight to the contents page, on which the section
called 'Monographs' is about individual buildings.
The whole site is rather slow-loading, but makes up for it with content.
However, it takes the biscuit for slowest and most useless front-page you have ever seen - we've bypassed it with the above link, but if you insist on seeing it, click here, and go get yourself a cup of coffee.                                                                                                           

A marvellous online exhibition at the Library of Congress on
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
This link takes you straight to the eighteenth-century section.
There are six other sections.
Watch your internet bill! - a fascinating site.

Church database for Southwell Diocese
This site has received so much press,
it is a something of a disappointment to find
that most of the entries are still blank (not yet populated, in computer speak).
Yet its potential is obvious, it will surely grow steadily, and it should be
looked at by anyone with an interest in church recording.

A model medieval church
  As part of an interesting site about Margery Kempe, there is this 'model church'.
It consists of a ground plan. Click on any part of the ground plan and see
a typical view of a medieval interior, taken from a real church for which the appropriate furnishings survive.

Wooden Lithuanian Church Architecture
An excellent  site about the 265 wooden churches, chapels and belfries in Lithuania.
Lots of thumb-nail photographs, which can be expanded at will.

Cast-iron grave markers etc., collected by Peter Fairweather
Part of an excellent and growing site, by Peter Fairweather, writing under the name Churchmouse.
He also has articles on cadaver tombs, and other ecclesiological matters.

A site dedicated to the life and work of Augustus Welby Pugin, whose architecture and polemic
helped shape the views of a generation of Victorian church builders. Excellent site, with plenty of images.

Wharram Percy Church
Wharram Percy church - a church in a deserted medieval village. The church
has been very fully excavated, as has much of the village.
A most important site for understanding church evolution.    

St Paul's, Harringay.
Important new church in north London, England

A couple of early Syriac wall paintings.
Very early wall paintings

Church on the Water.
Make up your own mind about a much-hyped church

an on-line bestiary.
 Especially for those interested in medieval symbolism,

Chapel of St Ignatius at Seattle University
A prizewinning chapel at Seattle University.
Unusual and interesting building.

First Cantebury Cathedral site
Second Canterbury Cathedral site
Two reports on the stunning discovery of the Saxon Cathedral
underlying the present Canterbury Cathedral. Photos and plans in both reports.

Villard de Honnecourt site
An interesting site about Villard de Honnecourt, a thirteenth century architect
whose notebook provides a fascinating insight into design and technology of the period.

Our first site of the month September 1998
Premier plans design sampler a collection of new designs for
American churches which can be appreciated on several levels.

Admission: we've missed a few months since we started.

<>  <>

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