Slide Shows on Cathedral and Church Architecture - by Michael G Hardy
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Historic and Architectural Details of Cathedrals and Churches on the Internet
Some Personal Opinions by Michael G Hardy
NB. A number of recommended links will ultimately be added to the information in these pages.
There is a vast amount of information on the historic churches and cathedrals of the UK to be found on the internet, much of which is improving with time. As with most information on the internet, it has been compiled by a variety of people, some obviously more knowledgeable than others. The following lists the types of site that can be explored, only quoting links to some that I consider are some of the finest examples:
Personally I never started using the internet until the middle of 2001, but I soon became aware of its value to those who can find what they are looking for. However, the ever increasing number of web sites can make it very difficult to find the information you want unless you know precisely where to look for it.
Virtually all cathedrals now have their own official web sites, they contain varying amounts of historical information, but they generally show some details on arrangements for visitors.
There are also web sites on individual cathedrals by academic institutions, particularly in the cathedral cities.
Cathedrals do not seem to be very popular subjects for individuals setting up their own web sites, although there are some examples, and people with web sites covering the churches of particular counties often include their local cathedral..
Current and recent news about specific cathedrals can often be found on the web sites of local newspapers, but they can be rather difficult to find and the pages and items often move around a lot, and can disappear very quickly.
Finally, to try and help people find information on the Internet on English Cathedrals, I am in the process of setting up my own web site. It will contain some history on the spread of cathedrals over England, and how the number of dioceses were increased in various stages. It will also contain some very basic historical details on each cathedral, and links to web sites dealing with specific cathedrals, etc.
Official church web sites, many run by individual parishes, or groups of parishes, although the vast majority of sites contain very little history of their own churches.
Many dioceses have web sites which include varying amounts of historical information on their churches. However most include useful information on finding contacts and access details for individual churches. There is a particularly fine example of a diocesan web site that concentrates on the history and architecture of its churches.
Web sites set up by academic institutions and official archaeological organisations can reveal large amounts of survey information.
Tourist organisation web sites often contain some useful information, obviously usually directed at those planning a holiday in a particular district.
Genealogical web sites can have a significant amount of information on churches, although they obviously concentrate on information for those those tracing their family histories.
Web sites set up by individuals and enthusiasts interested in their local church or churches, the churches of a particular county or even wider area. They vary a great deal and contain varying numbers of images, there are some splendid examples which contain a wealth of information.
Church photograph web sites - there are many of these set up by individuals, often on a county basis, most having a single exterior image of each church included. Some contain a vast number of photographs, although many sadly lack any accompanying descriptions. The photographs can be useful for identification purposes, and a good detailed photograph can interpret a lot of history itself.
There are also many web sites of organisations and societies, large and small, that are involved with the study and preservation of church architecture, some are listed on my page Some Organisations involved with Historic Churches.
Web sites also exist for the organisations that actually care for redundant churches, the largest of these being the Churches Conservation Trust. Another is the Friends of Friendless Churches who are closely tied to the Ancient Monuments Society.
There are vast numbers of web sites concerned with Christianity, but this is an area where information may not be of great relevance to those principally concerned with the historic aspects of churches.
There are also vast numbers of web sites on history generally, of which many aspects will also be of great interest to the church and architectural historian.
Search Engines may well be the normal way for finding information and web sites on the internet, however although they can provide vast lists of sites, it can be difficult finding which web sites contain any detailed historical or architectural information on churches.
Web Site Directories can be useful for finding web sites by specific subjects. The main one that I used to use has changed its categories in the field of historic architecture, and I need to do some research in this field, before I can once again recommend any directories.
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This page last modified on 3rd December 2007