The construction of a church was undoubtedly one of the most demanding events to take place in the life of a medieval parish. It required a huge outlay of time, money and labour, and often a new organisational structure to oversee design and management. Who took control and who provided the financing was deeply shaped by local patterns in wealth, authority and institutional development - from small villages with little formal government to settlements with highly unequal populations. This all took place during a period of great economic and social change as communities managed the impact of the Black Death, the end of serfdom and the slump of the mid-fifteenth century. This original and authoritative study provides an account of how economic change, local politics and architecture combined in late-medieval England. It will be of interest to researchers of medieval, socio-economic and art history.
Introduction; 1. Financing construction I: the parish; 2. Financing construction II: gentry and clergy; 3. Organising construction I: the churchwardens; 4. Organising construction II: contracting committees and fabric wardens; 5. Organising construction III: aristocracy, clergy and institutions; 6. Approaches to building work.
Gabriel Byng is a research fellow in History at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and Director of Studies in History of Art at Clare College, Cambridge. His research focuses on the material culture of late medieval and early modern England.
Collana: Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought: Fourth Series
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