banner image


Library

We have stored our records on this website in a master list of organs by English County and a series of case studies. These are all Microsoft word documents except for lecture notes and articles which are pdfs.

Simply click on the appropriate (blue) link; each document will open in a new window.

Our latest publication, ABC of a medieval church, can be found in the "Books" section below.


Master list of churches with documented or other signs of musical activity, c.1545

These 800 or so churches listed alphabetically by County have either already been surveyed on location or are the 'targets' for near-future exploration.

Note: As the master list is updated periodically, if you are a regular visitor to this page you may wish to refresh the page to ensure you upload the latest version.



Case Studies




Lectures


1300-1660: Filling-in the Gap (February 2018)

The illustrated lecture '1300-1660: Filling-in the Gap' given by Martin Renshaw on 17 February 2018 to the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, The Barber Institute, University of Birmingham can be downloaded here:


Lucus non lucendum: Windows in chancels to 1399 (June 2017)

The illustrated lecture 'Lucus non lucendum: Windows in chancels to 1399' by Martin Renshaw and Dr Victoria Harding on 2 June 2017 at the Courtauld Institute of Art conference 'Towards an Art History of the Parish Church, 1200-1399' can be downloaded here:


'Unsung Lives of Medieval Churches' (March 2017)

The illustrated lecture 'Unsung Lives of Medieval Churches' by Martin Renshaw and Dr Victoria Harding on 23 March 2017 to the Society of Antiquaries can be found on YouTube from this link: Unsung Lives of Medieval Churches.


From Boat-Boy to Cardinal: Music and Education in the later Middle Ages (May 2016)

You can download Martin Renshaw's illustrated presentation that he gave to the Campaign for the Traditional Cathedral Choir AGM at Charterhouse, on 28 May 2016 from this link:


Wond'rous Machine! The curious tale of the organ in Britain (Feb 2015)

You can download Martin Renshaw's illustrated presentation that he gave at the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, Barber Institute, Birmingham, on 21 February 2015 here:


Quires and places where they sang (2014)

You can download Martin Renshaw's illustrated presentation (and associated handout) that he gave at the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, Barber Institute, Birmingham, on 22 February 2014 here:


The removal of organs from churches, 1540s to the 1640s (2013)

You can download Martin Renshaw's illustrated presentation that he gave at the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, Barber Institute, Birmingham, on 2 March 2013 from this link:


Investigating the archaeology of the late medieval organ (2012)

You can download Martin Renshaw's illustrated presentation (including notes) that he gave at the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, Barber Institute, Birmingham, on 25 February 2012 from this link:


Organs in England at the start of the Reformation (2011)

You can download Martin Renshaw's presentation (and associated handout) that he gave at the British Institute of Organ Studies Research Conference, Barber Institute, Birmingham, on 26 February 2011 from these links:


Return to TOP


Articles


Were there any organs in Medieval England? A mid-term report for the Organ Yearbook (Feb 2015)


Beyond Ecclesiology: some implications which arise from considering medieval chancels as buildings designed for music

This essay was written in the summer of 2015 as an entry in the competition for the Hawksmoor Prize offered by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. It did not win but, as it represents some of the research carried out from 2012 onwards, it is put on record here:


The Place of the Organ in the Medieval Parish Church (2013/14)

You can download Martin Renshaw's article written for the 37th journal of the British Intitute of Organ Studies in 2013 (with additional notes added January 2014) from this link:


Return to TOP


Books


ABC of a medieval church (February 2018)

"Fascinating... with good,
instructive colour plates"
"You should read Mr Renshaw
on chancel stringcourses"

Daily Telegraph

"...a very handy guide to the
features found in medieval churches..."
"The book is both informative and
enjoyably, refreshingly, honest."

Organists' Review (September 2018)

logo

This is the first book to explain the functional, musical and liturgical reasons for features once found in all medieval churches.

Against the background of the NW European medieval Church, it is also the first book to explain how every one of the unique stock of over 8,000 surviving medieval churches in England and Wales exhibits a local response to universal requirements from the 10th to the 16th centuries:

  • to support the daily musical liturgy at its eastern Altars,
  • to fulfil the legitimate demands of the people who built and maintained their Church, the ecclesia, in the western parts of the building,
  • to ensure the good functioning of these two apparently incompatible requirements by creating complex functional and symbolic Barriers, now mostly missing.

This book suggests that this vital but forgotten division is more relevant than ever, with the Church now being returned to the successors of the community that built it, the Altar areas used again as they were intended, and imaginative Barriers created to make these different functions possible once more.

Also for the first time, the book shows how much more there is to discover about these church buildings, especially the significance of structures that are no longer clearly visible, inside and outside the buildings. It emphasises that archaeological signs of these need to be treated with care and understanding by all concerned with their use, protection and sustainability.

For further information and to download an order form click on these links (files open in a new window):-












Library Contents

Click on these links to find the following information on this page:

Master List of Churches

Case Studies

Lectures

Articles

Books





Return to TOP

logo