Cheadle, St Giles RC, Staffordshire, *****

“A.W.N. Pugin’s St Giles, Cheadle is the outstanding English church of the 19th century. Pugin, a Catholic and still only twenty-nine, was the architectural impresario of the day. The church commissioned in 1841 for the centre of Cheadle was intended to recreate the architecture of the pre-Reformation church. Since most of the churches in this book have their roots in the same religion, Cheadle shares their form and customary features. The difference is that at Cheadle they were recreated complete, in full colour and splendour. Cheadle was a reaction against both the classical architecture and sparse fittings of the Protestant church, and the frivolous Gothic of the Regency period.”

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Burford, St John, Oxfordshire, *****

“Burford is the queen of Oxfordshire, a paragon and museum of the English parish church…In the nave north aisle, a superb classical memorial recalls Edmond Harman, Henry VIII’s barber and courtier. His memorial, completed before his death, carries the first known depiction in England of the Indian inhabitants of the New World, believed to have been copied from a Flemish book.”

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