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England’s Historic Churches by Train (ePub)

A Companion Volume to England’s Cathedrals by Train

Transport > Trains & Railways World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Murray Naylor
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
File Size: 13.0 MB (.epub)
Pages: 215
Illustrations: 199
ISBN: 9781473871441
Published: 7th September 2016


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The second millennium saw the spread and consolidation of Christianity in Britain. One means by which the Normans tightened their grip on Britain after 1066 was by the construction of magnificent cathedrals, thereby demonstrating their intention to remain here. In his earlier book – England’s Cathedrals by Train – Murray Naylor explained how these hallowed buildings could be reached by train, relating their history and their principal features. His book invited readers to discover how the Normans and Victorians helped to shape our lives, either in constructing cathedrals or inventing railways.

England’s Great Historic Churches is the logical follow on to this book. Travelling across England it selects thirty-two of our ancient churches, relating their history and identifying those aspects which a visitor might overlook. His journeys include the great medieval abbeys at Tewkesbury, Selby and Hexham; the less well known priories at Cartmel and Great Malvern and other grand churches severely reduced after the Dissolution of Henry VIII’s reign, notably at Bridlington and Christchurch. He visits a church at Chesterfield where the spire leans at a crooked angle and goes to Boston, where the church - known as the Stump – was a starting point for many who emigrated to America in the 17th Century. Pride of place goes to Beverley Minster. In parallel he offers further observations on how railways have developed since the early 1800s and their future.

This book is excellent for those who would want to travel!

Read the complete 4* review here.

Oh My Bookness

A big part of the pleasure is in the journey to visit each church by rail with the journeys starting in the south, working their way up the west coast and crossing the Pennines to the north-east back down the eastern side of the country.

Best of British, April 2017 – reviewed by David Brown

A very interesting book with a magnificent image file.

Read the full Spanish review here.

José Manuél Rico Cortés (Mister JM) - Miniaturas JM

It is probable this volume will have wide appeal. At its simplest, and as an informative Tour Guide, it will appeal to the ‘Day Tripper’ with an interest in English history, who wants to travel by train and to see something different. Historians with an interest in Medieval and Tudor England, the English Monarchy and the evolution of the Church of England are likely to find this volume of interest. Architectural Historians may also find it of use. Those readers with a more general interest in the Kings of England, their times and tragedies may also find it worthy of their attention.

NZ Crown Mines

Overall I see the book as appealing to two main audiences. Firstly, as a well-illustrated record of a cross-section of the country’s more interesting churches juxtaposed with local railway history, it is of clear interest to local and social historians. And, as a useful planner and guide for numerous architecturally themed weekend outings, it will attract a broad cross section of the leisure seeking public, particularly those of a more curious and adventurous disposition.

Paul Stanton, Freelance

The author provides the reader with just the right balance of information about each of the thirty-two churches covered in this book, not attempting a comprehensive architectural commentary, leaving that to the church's official guide-book. Instead, he gives some background on this history of the place, highlighting interesting and lesser-known facts.

Guards magazine, Winter 2016/17- reviewed by Colonel W S G Doughty

A companion volume to England's Cathedrals by Train, this equally fine publication has a great deal to offer any itinerant railway traveller or transport enthusiast interested in ecclesiastical history.

The 32 carefully selected churches are covered in 18 regional chapters, backed up by excellent notes on both the railways and on the history and architecture of the churches themselves. The photos also cover the railways and the whole enterprise is unusual and satisfying.

This England, Spring 2017

Each section on the churches covered includes well-researched information on their location, historical significance and architectural features, and they are backed up by some very fine photographs. The book is a fine volume all round, printed on high-quality glossy art paper and hardbound. I am sure it will make a fine companion volume Naylor’s book Cathedrals by Rail and be a pleasing addition to any lover of churches/general architecture or even someone who just loves Britain and its heritage. The details of both the rail lines and the churches are enough to leave you eager to make the journeys to the churches and therefore as a guidebook it serves its purpose with aplomb. I am very happy to have the book on my shelf.

Read the full review here.


As featured in

New Milton Advertiser

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Bridlington Free Press

This is worthy of a TV series, surely? Author Murray Naylor's choice of thirty-two iconic churches won't please everybody, but then it's his journey and not theirs. I found this absolutely fascinating - churches are extremely photogenic and the combination of architecture and superb train journeys is enthralling.

Books Monthly, November 2016 – reviewed by Paul Norman

As featured in

Sudbury Mercury

As featured in

Church Times, September 2016
 Murray Naylor

About Murray Naylor

Murray Naylor was born in Cheshire. After school he enlisted in the British Army in which he served for thirty-six years before retiring in 1992. He now lives in North Yorkshire where he occupies himself with a wide range of local activities. He has had a lifelong interest in railways and a more recently developed preoccupation with England’s cathedrals.

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