Scottish Medieval Churches:
The Ecclesiastical Architecture of the 12th to 16th Centuries

Richard Fawcett

Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1985
A book review by Danny Yee © 2003
Scottish Medieval Churches is a history of Scottish churches from the 12th century to the Reformation. It is only a brief little book, obviously aimed at the tourist market, but it fits quite a substantial amount into its 64 pages, which are split fairly evenly between text and illustrations. (One limitation is a focus on buildings in state care, with others mentioned only where necessary to illustrate particular features.)

The first half is a brief history of the church in medieval Scotland, centred on its buildings and their roles. This looks in turn at cathedrals, monastic foundations, and parish churches and chapels, and is illustrated with building plans as well as photographs. The second half is a period by period architectural history, progressing from the earliest remains through Anglo-Scottish Romanesque and Early, Mature, and Late Gothic. The focus here is more on the smaller-scale features of buildings and on stylistic links between specific buildings (both within Scotland and outside) and their patrons and masons. A brief final section looks at the effects of the Reformation, both on the buildings — many were abandoned or modified — and on architectural style, where the pause in building activity resulted in a real, if partial, discontinuity.

August 2003

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%T Scottish Medieval Churches
%S The Ecclesiastical Architecture of the 12th to 16th Centuries
%A Fawcett, Richard
%I Her Majesty's Stationery Office
%D 1985
%O paperback, colour photographs, index
%G ISBN 011492385X
%P 64pp