How our Catholic heritage is overlooked
The Roman Catholic church has a glorious history of fine architecture which has been largely overlooked, a new book claims.
A Glimpse of Heaven, by Christopher Martin, is being published by English Heritage as part of its campaign to save Britain's historic places of worship, many of which are in a serious state of disrepair.
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said it was time Catholic buildings were recognised. "As a group, they have been largely overlooked by architectural historians who have sometimes drawn unfair and inappropriate comparisons with Anglican places of worship," Dr Thurley said.
The research for A Glimpse of Heaven uncovered an astonishing diversity of styles from the chapels of Catholic aristocrats, to Gothic masterpieces by artists such as A W N Pugin, Classical basilicas and even Arts and Crafts and Modern churches.
Their history reflects that of the Catholic Church in Britain from the Reformation, when Catholic worship became illegal for two centuries, through to the 1791 Catholic Relief Act to Catholic emancipation in 1832.
Dr Thurley said it was partly because the majority of the 3,000 Catholic churches were Victorian that they had been ignored.
"It was only 30 years ago that Victorian architecture was deeply unfashionable and certainly 40 years ago people were knocking it down left, right and centre," he said.
Only 18 per cent of Catholic places of worship are listed compared to 90 per cent of Anglican churches. Yet, he said, pilot projects suggested many more should be on the protected list.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £50k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 bus...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...