Wensley, Holy Trinity, North Yorkshire, **

“The interior is a total surprise, a space of high drama. The pew was installed by the 3rd Duke of Bolton for a Restoration opera singer, Lavinia, with whom he was infatuated. She insisted, in return for accepting his on-first-sight proposal, that he acquire the opera box from which he experienced his coup de foudre. This he duly did. The box is sumptuous, with two easy looking out over the nave as if from the Grand Tier at Covent Garden.”

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Studley Royal, St Mary, North Yorkshire, ****

“For those who hold that the Victorians at their best were the equal of the 13th and 14th centuries, Study Royal is a masterpiece…The exterior is in Burges’s familiar muscular style. At night, the silhouette against the sky can seem like a gian rhinoceros, with the tower as its horn. The building is heavily buttressed, the chancel windows enriched and the doors emboldened with splendid Gothic ironwork.”

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