Church buildings offer us a distinctive, imposing architecture that has evolved over the centuries from the most straightforward structures made from locally sourced materials to permanent places of worship constructed from more durable dressed stone or brick. And with parish congregations and leaders taking personal pride in their community churches, time and monetary investment have led to more aesthetically enjoyable structures with the inclusion of ornate features and stained glass windows.
Indeed, you don’t need to be a historian to know that the church within any parish is likely to be the oldest building, with the earliest ecclesiastical establishments built around 590 AD.
The Church of St Martin, Canterbury, is acknowledged as the oldest Christian church in Britain still in use and is accepted to be the oldest in the English-speaking world, perhaps quite rightly falling as a World Heritage Site.
Period Church Styles
With their evolving style of architecture throughout the centuries, these foreboding parish buildings have the unique ability to offer us a plethora of architecture from the Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian periods to Gothic, Medieval, Norman, Saxon and Tudor eras. In addition, they delightfully display effigies and carvings to wet the tastebuds of any historian. And with a parish church quietly imposing on every village and town skyline, it doesn’t matter where you are in Britain to easily experience one of these magnificent buildings and admire the architecture of its time.
Of course, with these beautiful buildings being of age, there is a risk of losing these architectural temples through lack of parish funds and sometimes through years of neglect. That’s why institutions like The Churches Conservation Trust, Friends of Friendless Churches, and Scotlands Churches Trust are so incredibly valuable. They work with local communities to protect at-risk churches and other places of worship, repairing and caring for these buildings vested in them, allowing us all to enjoy their familiarity within our communities for years to come.
So, whether conserving stonework and ornate effigies or repairing guttering, preserving our magnificent churches is essential, requiring experts and conservators to follow conservation principles to ensure our foreboding church architecture remains weathertight and structurally sound and to slow down the inevitable decay.
Whether repairing church cast iron gutters or cast iron hoppers for church rainwater downpipes, Tuscan Foundry has the extensive product knowledge, foundry heritage, and expertise to provide bespoke cast iron products to these vital church conservation projects, helping local parishes preserve the character and the unique imposing grandeur these beautiful buildings possess.