AngleseyCHURCHISLANDStTysilio(explorechurches.org)40

Enjoy our stories

Amazing people

STORYDewiSant(CC0)2

Dewi Sant

St David's Day is the most important day in the Welsh calendar to celebrate our culture and heritage, but who was Dewi Sant?

GreaterLondonBLOOMSBURYStGeorge(williamhogarthPUBLICDOMAIN)1
WilliamHogarth

Nicholas Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor was responsible for six new churches in London. Each different, each is unique.

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BillBryson

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson chooses 14 of his favourite churches, including Durham Cathedral, The Italian Chapel in Orkney and London’s St Martin’s in the Fields.

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NickRowland

Capability Brown

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was probably England’s greatest landscape designer. He even had a hand in a few churches.

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Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens created some of the world's best loved fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.

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SilvioSorcini

Thomas Becket

A murder that shook the Middle Ages.

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NationalPortraitGallery

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren was one of Britain's most distinguished architects, best known for designing London city churches, including St Paul's Cathedral.

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Queen Victoria

Warm hearted and lively Victoria is one of history’s most celebrated monarchs, she reigned as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for 63 years (1837-1901).

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Deeds not words

The church did not always have an easy relationship with women's suffrage, but today many are rightly proud of their links to the women who have made such a difference to our society.

NottinghamshireBABWORTHAllSaints(heritageinspiredPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1
HeritageInspired

Pilgrims heartland

One journey links four nations, spans 400 years of history and connects millions of people. Discover the origins of the Separatists, through five leading passengers on the Mayflower in 1620.

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Oak apple day

The escape of Charles II from England in 1651 was a key episode in his life. The story is remembered in the traditions of Oak Apple Day, on 29 May.

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BritishLibrary

Gunpowder, treason & plot

Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot! But who were the core conspirators and where can you visit their old haunts.

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RoyalCollection

Royal weddings

Happy and glorious churches and cathedrals across the UK have hosted royal weddings through history. Here we take a peek inside.

CornwallTINTAGELTintagelCastleChapel(iancapperCC-BY-2.0)1
IanCapper

King Arthur

Arthur, sometimes known as ‘the king that was and the king that shall be’, is recognised all over the world as one of the most famous characters of myth and legend.

#ChurchExplorers

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BillNicholls

Bill Nicholls

I think if any one asked me why I liked visiting churches, I would not be able to put a finger on it. But there was always a draw for me.

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JamesBalme

James Balme

Since being a teenager I have had a great interest in history, in particular the historical buildings that still stand from past centuries.

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CameronNewham

CB Newham

January 2021 marked 24 years since I started visiting churches with the aim of recording them photographically.

Incredible places

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Ozimanndias8

Oldest churches

Incredible churches, where ancient fabric dates from pre AD800, and all are still being used. These are churches to visit if you want to truly touch the past.

YorkshireROTHERHAMChapelOurLady(heritageinspiredPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1
HeritageInspired

Medieval bridge chapels

Bridge chapels were once a common feature of major bridges throughout Britain, today only a few survive.

PowysLLANDEGLEYPalesMeetingHouse(©CrownCopyright2020)1
©CrownCopyright2020

Beauty in simplicity

Historic meeting houses sit well within their landscape, often reflecting local building traditions and materials. Today, they are an escape from the hustle and bustle.

STORYElenaCurtiGorseinon(andybullPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1
AndyBull

Hidden Catholic heritage

It’s amazing how a chat with a colleague over coffee can spark an idea, that is how I came to write my book, Fifty Catholic Churches to See Before You Die : Elena Curti

GreaterLondonSOHOStPatrick(diliffCC-BY-SA3.0)1
DavidIliff

European churches

Many European communities have built or use churches in the UK. If you’re visiting from Europe, there’s a little bit of home here.

PowysCAPELYFFINStMaryVirgin(sjaakkempeCC-BY-2.0)1
SjaakKempe

Smallest churches

Church buildings come in many varieties, from old to new, urban to rural, and big to small. Here is a beautiful selection of the smallest churches in Britain.

GreaterManchesterDENTONStLawrence(daviddixonCC-BY-SA2.0)1
DavidDixon

Wooden churches

Many, if not most, ancient churches in the UK started off as simple wooden structures.

GreaterLondonBLOOMSBURYChapelStChristopher(johnsalmonCC-BY-SA2.0)1
JohnSalmon

London's unseen chapels

London is teeming with chapels of all shapes and sizes, often out of view of the main tourist routes and, sadly, many people miss them.

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JHannanBriggs

100 years

20th century churches are incredibly varied and interesting.

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Cathedrals

The great cathedrals of the world represent one of humanity's most glorious architectural and artistic achievements.

Amazing landscapes

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©CrownCopyright2020

Mountain churches

International Mountain Day celebrates the wonder and importance of mountains. Our favourite mountain churches offer places of comfort after a day exploring the surrounding fells.

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©CrownCopyright2020

Edge of the world

The UK has just over 40 tidal islands, some large, many very small. The best are home to unique churches and chapels, often with monastic beginnings and built for peace and tranquillity.

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MikeBishop

Hadrian's Wall

The Tyne Valley is known for its fine concentration of early churches, many built with stones recycled from the wall, arguably the best surviving concentration north of the Alps!

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RobinChristie

National Parks

Incredible churches in wild landscapes. From the rugged wilds of the Cairngorms and the ancient woodlands of the New Forest to the golden shores of the Pembrokeshire Coast.

SurreyCROWHURSTStGeorge(donaldmacauleyCC-BY-SA2.0)1
DonaldMacauley

Ancient yew trees

As ancient as they are beautiful, our churches are the present custodians of yew trees planted and cared for over many centuries.

AngleseyLLANBADRIGStPatrick(explorechurches.org)1

Tirweddau hudol

What is it about the wild and mysterious landscape of Wales; and the ancient churches you stumble across, every few miles, which seem so intimately connected with it?

LincolnshireFRIESTHORPEStPeter(angelamaynePERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1
AngelaMayne

Snowdrops

The sight of spectacular snowdrops carpeting churchyards is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Here is a pick of the best to visit, head out on a crisp day to explore frosty landscapes and enjoy beautiful displays.

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©CrownCopyright2020

Caru dy gymydog

Welsh churches to rival the castle next door. Wales is said to be the castle capital of the world, but what many people don’t know is that our churches are even older than our castles.

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National Trust

From a world famous chapel to a medieval church on a rocky island, there are plenty of spiritual spaces to explore.

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ArranBee

Seaside specials

We have chosen some of our favourite seaside getaways. All have delightful churches nestling in their narrow lanes, or braving the elements on windswept clifftops.

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Historic labyrinths

The labyrinth motif has been used since prehistoric times. Historic labyrinths in the UK mostly date from the late 19th century, only two are medieval.

Cultural icons

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NilFanion

Blue Monday

January can be great for many different reasons, a new year has just begun and think of all those churches to explore! Let's fill our Blue Monday with beauty.

CityofGlasgowGORBELSBlessedJohnDunsScotus(wellcomecollectionCC-BY-SA4.0)1
WellcomeCollection

Love churches

We’ve got fascinating, unique and beautiful places to share. Love the one you're with, absolutely. But there’s no harm in discovering new churches to love too!

NottinghamshireSCROOBYStWilfrid(heritageinspiredPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1
HeritageInspired

Mayflower400

Across England there are many places with connections to the Mayflower story and worldwide there are over 35 million descendants of the passengers and crew who sailed on her.

WestMidlandsCOVENTRYCoventryCathedral(dilliffCC-BY-SA3.0)1
DavidIliff

Twelve days

The Twelve Days of Christmas was first published as a rhyme in 1780. Christmas and visiting churches go hand in hand, let's visit some connected to this cherished rhyme.

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VinceTangler

Christingle

The first Christingle service was held in Lincoln Cathedral in 1968. Today, over 5,400 Christingles are held across the country, but here we pay tribute to those first Christingle churches.

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Nursery rhymes

From lullabies to drinking songs and proverbs to plague, rhyming ditties for children take many forms. But how do they link to churches?

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RAF 100

Up and down the country there are many links between churches and former airfields.

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Verbcatcher

Memento mori

A memento mori is a piece of art, sculpture or writing designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and of the shortness and fragility of human life. Churches are fascinating places to discover them.

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HuwEdwards

Pedals & pipes

Mozart called it ‘the King of Instruments’. The organ is usually the largest item of furniture in a church.

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NickStone

Battlefield crosses

A century ago hundreds of thousands of simple wooden crosses marked the graves of Commonwealth soldiers along the Western Front in France and Belgium. When they were replaced with headstones many were given to churches.