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The archaeological study of churches

Peter Addyman & Richard Morris (editors)

CBA Research Report No 13 (1976)

ISBN 0 900312 35 1


Title page of report 13

'It becomes increasingly evident that churches more than any other structure are likely to advance the understanding of settlement histories . . . (this) volume presents a number of specific studies to illustrate the variety of techniques and approaches now to be found in British church archaeology'. H M Taylor (3-9) examines the logical foundations for constructing the architectural history of any period, explaining the particular problems of Anglo-Saxon churches. A section on organization of church archaeology (10-17) contains the editors' description of the network of Diocesan Archaeological Consultants formed to improve communication between church authorities and archaeologists; and short contributions on Danish, German and Dutch organization come respectively from O Olsen, G Fehring and H Halbertsma. Part 3 (18-27) treats the documentary background, with L A S Butler and D Owen explaining the types of evidence available and their use by the archaeologist. Part 4 (28-64) is on approach and techniques, with papers on individual churches by R Cramp (Jarrow), J G Hurst (Wharram Percy) and S Knight (Upleatham), while P A Rahtz considers the wealth of information found in churchyards, and the dangers to which it is subject. K A and W Rodwell discuss the problems of investigating churches in current use, from local politics and sensitivities through practical problems like the display of research results. A D Phillips describes the recording of the York Minster rescue excavations, advocating the use of 9cm x 12 film with monorail camera and the indirect application of a Cartesian coordinate system. P A Rahtz's second contribution is on the 'total archaeology' being applied to Deerhurst church and village. Martin Biddle (65-71) on the widening horizons discusses continuity of site and settlement, the origins of churchyard burial, and structural problems. The Reverend Henry Stapleton offers a postscript.


  • Title pages
  • List of contributors (p vi)
  • Preface by The Most Revered the Archbishop of York (p vii)
  • Foreword by P V Addyman (p 1)
  • Part 1 : The foundations of architectural history by H M Taylor (p 3)
  • Part 2 : Organization
    • Diocesan Archaeological Consultants: steps towards a plan for church archaeology in England by P Wade-Martins and R K Morris (p 10)
    • Church archaeology in Europe today:
      1. The legal situation in Denmark by O Olsen (p 14)
      2. The legal situation in Germany by G P Fehring (p 15)
      3. Archaeology in historic churches in the Netherlands by H Halbertsma (p 15)
    • References - Part 2 (p 17)
  • Part 3: The documentary background
    • Documentary evidence and the church fabric by L A S Butler (p 18)
    • Documentary sources for the building history of churches in the middle ages by Dorothy Owen (p 21)
    • References - Part 3 (p 26)
  • Part 4: Approach and techniques
    • St Paul's Church, Jarrow by Rosemary Cramp (p 28)
    • Wharram Percy: St Martin's Church by J G Hurst (p 36)
    • St Andrew's Old Church, Upleatham by Shirley Knight (p 40)
    • The archaeology of the churchyard by P A Rahtz (p 41)
    • The investigation of churches in use: a problem in rescue archaeology by K A Rodwell and W J Rodwell (p 45)
    • Excavation techniques in church archaeology by A D Phillips (p 54)
    • Research directions at Deerhurst by P A Rahtz (p 60)
    • References - Part 4 (p 64)
  • Part 5: The archaeology of the church: a widening horizon by Martin Biddle (p 65)
  • Postscript by Rev Henry Stapleton (p 72)
  • Index (p 75)
  • Plates I to XIII (following page 79)

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