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English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. - An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building by F.H. Crossley. Book revue and free price guide for this book about mediaeval architecture. With a profile and bibliography of the publisher B.T. Batsford and the author. Published in 1945, the revue includes the full contents of this illustrated book and a list of other books in the Batsford British Heritage Series.
English Church Design, 1040 to 1540 A.D. This image shows the original dust jacket, designed by Flight-Lieutenant Brian Cook

About the Book: English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. - An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building

I am no architectural connoisseur but I've always looked upon traditional English churches as being things of great beauty. They reflect historical periods which we might otherwise only be able to read about: These are buildings we can stand alongside, enter, touch or photograph. They are often large buildings which form the centrepiece of a village, town or city. The workmanship exhibited seems beyond anything created in the modern day: The intricacy of designs, both external and internal, with imposing towers and spires, arches, windows, mouldings and porches.

English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. - An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building, was first published in the summer of 1945. The copy here is a first edition and, typical of books of the period, is printed on a low grade paper. This was because of rationing in England during the Second World War and afterwards, into the 1950s. Despite this the book has a charm of its own and is very well researched and written by Fred Crossley. Ultimately, a book should be judged on the information between its covers - not the quality of the paper it was printed on.

The author guides us through the design and construction of the mediaeval church in England: The variety and designs of towers, the importance of the facade, architectural detail such as the often ornate mouldings, inside a church building and how such buildings are protected from the elements. The book also includes layout plans of mediaeval churches of various designs. The glossary, which extends to almost five full pages, helps the reader understand some of the technicalities of the mediaeval church - unless you're well versed in ecclesiastical architecture it's almost like learning a new language.

Many of the photographs in the book were provided by the author with additional material from Brian C. Clayton and others. The coloured frontispiece shows the tower of Dundry Church in Somerset from a watercolour by John Chessell Buckler. There follows 120 captioned black and white photographs, many full page, depicting various aspects of mediaeval churches around the country. The photos show both internal and external detail and are accompanied by various line drawn plans which appear in the text.

English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. - An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building is a super book and a great read for scholars of architecture, historians and those who want to explore the mediaeval churches dotted around England.

Contents:

  • Preface (by Fred H. Crossley)
  • Acknowledgement
  • An Introduction and a Warning
  • On the Designing of Towers
  • On Facades
  • External Architectural Detail
  • The Inner Treatment of the Main Walls
  • The Protection from the Elements: Fire and Water
  • The Layout and Plan of Churches of Various Types
  • The Organisation of Mediaeval Building
  • Glossary
  • Index

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Published by B.T. Batsford, English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. was a part of their popular British Heritage Series

About the Publisher: B.T. Batsford

Founded in 1843 by Bradley Thomas Batsford (1821-1904), the company which bears his name has been an important part of the British publishing scene for over one hundred and seventy-five years. Bradley was a bookseller, printer and publisher and seemed to have a particular interest in architecture - the subject of many early books published by the company.

A number of the Batsford books were published in series. English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. - An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building is part of their British Heritage series and there were other later series including The Face of Britain, English Heritage, The Batsford Half-Guinea Library, National Trust Series, Crafts In Colour, Costume in Context and many more.

At the time of publishing this book B.T. Batsford was based at 15 North Audley Street, London W1 and also had a branch in Malvern Wells (Worcestershire). The Batsford name is still in use today as an imprint for Pavilion Books: Their headquarters is 23, Great Ormond Street, London.

B.T. Batsord: Publisher’s Bibliography of The British Heritage Series of Books

Dates shown for the following British Heritage Series books are believed to be the first edition, first print dates:

  • British Heritage Series:
    • 1933 The Face of Scotland by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry
    • 1934 The Cathedrals of England by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry
    • 1934 The Old Inns of England by A.E. Richardson
    • 1934 The Heart of Scotland by George Blake
    • 1935 The Parish Churches of England by J. Charles Cox and C. Bradley Ford
    • 1935 The English Country House by Ralph Dutton
    • 1935 English Villages and Hamlets by Humphrey Pakington
    • 1935 The Heart of England by Ivor Brown
    • 1935 The Countryman's England by Dorothy Hartley
    • 1935 The Spirit of London by Paul Cohen-Portheim
    • 1935 The Spirit of Ireland by Lynn Doyle
    • 1936 The English Castle by Hugh Braun
    • 1936 English Village Homes by Sydney R. Jones
    • 1936 The Old Towns of England by Clive Rouse
    • 1936 The Sea and Shores of England by Edmund Vale
    • 1937 The Land of Wales by Eiluned and Peter Lewis
    • 1938 The English Garden by Ralph Dutton
    • 1938 The English Cottage by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry
    • 1938 The Old Public Schools of England by John Rodgers
    • 1938 Old English Customs and Ceremonies by F.J. Drake-Carnell
    • 1939 Old English Household Life by Gertrude Jekyll and Sydney R. Jones
    • 1940 The Greater English Church by Harry Batsford and Charles Fry
    • 1940 British Hills and Mountains by J.H.B. Bell, E.F. Bozman and J. Fairfax-Blakeborough
    • 1941 English Church Craftsmanship by F.H. Crossley
    • 1942 Britain's Mountain Heritage by Arthur Gardner
    • 1942 The English Abbey by F.H. Crossley
    • 1944 Prehistoric England by Grahame Clark
    • 1945 English Church Design by F.H. Crossley
    • 1947 English Rivers by John Rodgers
    • 1949 English Place Names by H.G. Stokes
    • 1949 Shakespeare's Country by John Russell
    • 1950 Dartmouth, A History of the Port and Town by Percy Russell
    • 1953 The English Farmhouse by Martin S. Briggs
  • Britsh Heritage In Colour Series:
    • 1957 East Anglia In Colour by R. Allen Brown
    • 1959 English Lakeland by Dudley Hoys
    • 1960 Shakespeare's Country in Colour by Joan Fleming
    • 1963 English Heritage in Colour by Edward Hyams
    • 1972 British Cathedrals In Colour by Bryan Little

The full colour frontispiece depicts the tower of Dundry Church, Someset (from an 1827 watercolour by John Chessell Buckler)

About the Author: Fred H. Crossley

Frederic Herbert Crossley (1868-1955) had a longstanding interest in English mediaeval art and architecture. He came to book writing relatively late in life: His first published book was English Church Woodwork, which appeared in print when he was forty-nine (1917). This book was a joint effort with Frank Ernest Howard (1888-1934), who was an architect who worked mainly on ecclesiastical fixtures and fittings. Four years later Crossley's next effort was English Church Monuments AD 1150-1550: An Introduction to the Study of Tombs and Effigies of the Mediaeval Period (1921). This was followed by a longer break of fourteen years before he was in print again with The English Abbey - Its Life and Work in the Middle Ages. By this time I suspect he had retired and over the next sixteen years a further four books, attributed to Fred, were published.

He is sometimes referred to as Fred Crossley or F.H. Crossley, less frequently by his full name.

F.H. Crossley was also linked to the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, for whom he wrote some journal articles.

Author’s Bibliography: Fred H. Crossley

1917 English Church Woodwork - A Study In Craftsmanship During the Mediaeval Period AD 1250-1550, written in collaboration with F.E. Howard, 1st UK edition published by B.T. Batsford

1921 English Church Monuments AD 1150-1550: An Introduction to the Study of Tombs and Effigies of the Mediaeval Period, 1st UK edition published by B.T.Batsford

1935 The English Abbey - Its Life and Work in the Middle Ages, 1st UK edition published by B.T. Batsford, part of the Batsford British Heritage Series

1938 On the Constructional Design of Timber Roofs in the Churches of Cheshire, 1st UK edition published by Burleigh Press

1941 English Church Craftsmanship - An Introduction to the Work of the Mediaeval Period and Some Account of Later Developments, 1st UK edition published by B.T. Batsford, part of the Batsford British Heritage Series

1945 English Church Design, 1040 to 1540 A.D. -An Introduction to the Study of Mediaeval Building, 1st UK edition published by B.T. Batsford, part of the Batsford British Heritage Series

1951 Timber Building in England, From Early Times to the End of the Seventeenth Century (British Art and Building Series), 1st UK edition published by B.T. Batsford

English Church Design, 1040 to 1540, includes many full-page photographic illustrations

Physical Outline: English Church Design, 1040 to 1540 A.D.

  • Title: English Church Design, 1040 to 1540 A.D.
  • Author: Fred H. Crossley
  • Published by B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1st edition, Summer 1945
  • Format: A hardcover book with its original dust jacket
  • Pages: 120, detailed text, frontispiece and black and white photos and line drawings
  • Size Approx: 141x219mm
  • Approx weight: 355g

Estimated Book Value:

If you need values in US dollars, Euros or a host of other major currencies, a currency converter is included in the right hand sidebar of this page, and another in the footer area.

English Church Design 1040 to 1540 A.D. by F.H. Crossley, estimated value of the pictured copy, a first edition, which is in good condition in a good dust jacket, £8.00

Estimated value of the same book in fine condition in a fine dust jacket, £16.00

External Links:

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John Chessell Buckler

Flight-Lieutenant Brian Cook

Life in Mediaeval England

Rationing after WWII

Dundry Church, Somerset

Pavilion Books

B.T. Batsford Ltd

The Face of Britain Series

English Heritage Series

The Batsford Half-Guinea Library

National Trust Series

Costume in Context Series

Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society

Frank Ernest Howard (1888-1934)