Stenlake Publishing - 1000 Years of Scottish Churches: Churches built since the First World War

1000 Years of Scottish Churches: Churches built since the First World War

Author : John R Hume
ISBN : 9781840338164
Cover : paperback
Price : £10.95

The author is former Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings at Historic Scotland, academic and author of many books on Scottish architecture and industrial history published over the last decade. Furthermore, he was and is a photographer par excellence and he has been recording buildings and structures and industrial archaeology since the 1960s. This series of six volumes using his own photographs, in black and white and in colour, evolved from a lecture given in 2014 for the Scotland’s Churches Trust. Apart from ‘a handful’ that ‘ought to be here’ this is a personal selection of churches that the author describes as having ‘a particular meaning to me’ and as a ‘love-letter to the Church Universal’. Of course these words are deceptive in the nicest possible way as the author is possibly the most humble expert extant. These books do so much more than he implies and are arranged chronologically and by epoch. The six books combined comprise of 576 photographs in total.

The final volume in this series of six deals with the last 100 years. Readers are perhaps better acquainted with the background history and the social changes of this busy period than they are with the previous centuries, but in terms of church-building the fundamental driver was council house building, both for returning service personnel and for persons displaced by the large-scale demolition of sub-standard housing. Leafing through the pages one’s first assumption might be that the church design rulebook was thrown away as the churches shown from the 50s and 60s resemble rockets, fire stations, boats, factories, cinemas. Art Deco and Scandinavian influences too seem to have been at work making for distinctive church architecture which was actually born by necessity of the rationing of building materials post-war and the lack of skilled workers, meaning that economical designs had to be developed. This period of great innovation in design ended early in the 1970s and was followed by a period of the construction of mainly modest timber-framed extension churches. As in the other books in the series each photograph is accompanied by short but detailed captions.

1000 Years of Scottish Churches: Churches built since the First World War

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