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
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English Heritage

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

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HISTORY CORNER
Name the mystery historic attraction
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This exhibition hall was built to serve as the centrepiece for the Great Exhibition of 1851



17 October, 1346

Battle of Neville's Cross

Invading Scots under David II are defeated near Durham. David is captured, his nephew Robert the Steward becomes Regent of Scotland

This child king came to throne at the age of 12, but probably died in the Tower of London two years later



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