“The Landscape Photography of the Medieval Church from an archaeological and architectural perspective with several Case Studies from Yorkshire.’’

Research Proposal:


To investigate the development of the English Church depicting the evolution of its history from an archaeological and architectural perspective and demonstrating that the church as landscape is a cultural and historically significant phenomenon.

A synopsis of medieval churches in the region will be given examining and giving examples of a variety of architectural styles which will highlight the importance of the regions Christian development from Celtic Monasticism to the Evangelisation of the English Church and beyond and looking at the way in which these historically significant buildings have been abandoned.

The photographs submitted will then conclude the investigation thus proving that Yorkshire has made a significant contribution to the cultural and religious heritage of the UK overall and that the neglect of these buildings cannot continue, bearing in mind that other important religious structures of note may draw on alternative sacred destinations associated with Paganism and Druidism. Hence my reason for the extensive research and interest.

Research Requirements:

The research requirements for this proposal will involve undergoing extensive consultations with all the individual case studies involved and with the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service including possibly the North Yorkshire Archaeology Service. The archive office at Wakefield will also be used as an academic resource.

Through my initial enquiries I have discovered that there does not appear to be any photographers working within this field of interest presently within the U.K and can therefore assume photographers must be hired on an ad hoc basis, possibly from an architectural perspective. An editorial piece using my photographs as both architectural, archaeological and the aesthetic will document by research allowing the viewer to see first-hand the impact of such buildings from all these perspectives. My findings have additionally realized that any photographers working in this area focus on the human impact of religious structure and not on the structure itself. (see research folder for more information). These facts will form the basis of my investigations.

Production Methods/Presentation:

From a technical perspective, I will be using digital format as a means of identifying and documenting structure and appropriate software with portable lighting equipment if considered necessary. My overall aim is to document these religious buildings with an editorial aesthetic in mind and to assist, where appropriate, the congregation, lay people and educators to gain knowledge into their spiritual and religious environment. I will therefore be shooting on location (please see below for a list of possible case studies), using natural light to advantage highlighting the most pleasing compositional aesthetic.

Target Audience:

My target audience will depend on the area I am photographing. My research has already initially established that there is a market for discovery within a vast age range and that my findings will have an extensive scope overall: namely; archaeology enthusiasts, members of society who are architecturally interested in local history/history and art groups, libraries and religious leaders and their congregation, educators and academics. I am also in consultation with the Archaeology Service based at Wakefield and have approached them regarding the publication of my findings.

An exhibition is planned for 2015 and 2016 one of which has been secured to date. Publication investigation highlights the opportunity for each church being studied to highlight both the social impact and historic concerns of the church through the publication of guides and other related information.

A list of possible Case Studies:

Bradford Cathedral

Fountains Abbey

Kirkstall Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey

Wakefield – Cathedral Church of All Saints

Wakefield – Chantry Chapel

Whitby Abbey

York Minster

Other Religious Buildings of note:

Beverley Minster



Easby Abbey and St Agatha’s Church

St Hilda’s Church and well at Hinderwell

St Mary’s Church, Lastingham

St Mary and St Alkelda’s Church, Middleham

St Cuthbert’s Church, Fishlake

Dewsbury Minster (Church of All Saints)

All Saints Church, Ilkley

Unusual Alternative Sacred Destinations:

              The Druids’ Altar, Bingley



Alcomden Stones, Stanbury Moor, West Yorkshire

Cow and Calf Rocks, Ilkley

Dove Stones, Widdop Moor

Wart Stone, Eccleshill, Bradford, West Yorkshire

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