Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

This dictionary is an attempt to show in an easy to understand, visual format, some of the features that helped form the historic churches of Britain. When you visit churches with any regularity you will often run across a confusing mix of terms which may be difficult to understand without a visual illustration. While we can't claim to have covered every feature of church history and architecture, we hope that you will find enough useful illustrations and definitions that will help you to get the most of visiting these wonderful heritage treasures. You can find short definitions in our Glossary of Medieval Church Architecture, and there are also useful biographies of some of the more important church architects in our British Biographies section. For a more in-depth look at architectural styles and time periods, check our English Architecture articles.

Visual Quick Start

Angel Roof

Angel Roof
Green Man
Green Man
Effigy
Effigy
Misericord
Misericord
Monumental Brass
Monumental Brass
Saxon Period
Saxon period
Sedilia
Sedilia
Tympanum
Tympanum
Attraction search
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English Heritage

National Trust membership

English Heritage membership

Free entry to English Heritage properties throughout England, plus discounted admission to Historic Scotand and Cadw properties in Scotland and Wales

Membership details

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HISTORY CORNER

Name the Historic attraction

Name the mystery historic attraction
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British History Quiz

This diarist's shorthand writings were first deciphered in 1819, over a century after his death



 Clue

This Day in British History

30 August, 1720

Birth of Samuel Whitbread

Whitbread founded Whitbread's brewing company in 1842 and later became a politician

Monarch Mayhem

The Merciless Parliament of 1388 attempted to curb the excesses of this monarch



 Clue

Passionate about British Heritage!