STUDIO PRACTICE 2B AND TECHNIQUES AND PROCESSES 2B
The Redundant Church
Identifying key issues surrounding the church as landscape including interest in architectural and archaeological artefacts
- A change to the law is required to ensure and protect archaeological evidence. A detailed study must be required before any work is carried out which involves the demolition of any church building (see Rodwell: 1980-38)
- If destruction is considered to be necessary then consideration needs to be given to the process of dismantling to restore and recover significant historical data
- No continuity exists for the mass destruction of churches
- Social and financial issues dictate that the demise of the church prior to destruction is often due to the parishes inability to raise the necessary capital to restore it to good order
- Church buildings are not recognized as having archaeological significance and if they were then an architectural and archaeological preservation order could be obtained
- 8,500 churches remaining in England are still wholly medieval in fabric
- The Pastoral Measures institution since 1968 have declared 1,000 buildings redundant
- A church is declared redundant on pastoral ground not on the basis of its historic merit
- We are trailing behind our European counterparts (i.e. Germany, Holland and Scandinavia) in recording the history of the church
- In 1987 the West Yorkshire Archaeological Service began a major field survey of the medieval churches in the county. Ryder identified that medieval churches in the area are being neglected (the chapel of ease which stood behind Bradford Beck and Baildon where a chapel has been documented since the 12th century)
- Eccleshill or ‘ecles’ translates into the site of a church which was then known as the British Kingdom of Elmet (now known as West Yorkshire).
- Religious structural evidence dates back to AD 627 when St Paulinus baptized King Edwin of Northumberia in a wooden church at York.
- 42 out of the 55 churches in the area have a carbon dating which are medieval in their classification proving that an establishment of churches has been in existence since this time.
- Less than 60% of the churches in West Yorkshire are not sufficiently documented to pass on the briefest of details to those interested
- The early English Church helps to sustain historic interest in our country through tourism
- Without these churches on our landscape our cultural heritage would be destroyed aesthetically and in terms of being able to identify and define what England is.
For an extensive Bibliography please refer to the research folder