South and West Somerset (The Buildings of England Series No. 14)

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9780140710144: South and West Somerset (The Buildings of England Series No. 14)

The rural southern part of Somerset is particularly rich in church architecture, from the poetic ruins of Glastonbury Abbey to the plain geometry of Lutyens's chapel at Brushford. Somerset's elaborate pinnacled church towers are discussed in detail; the examples at Evercreech, Huish Episcopi, Taunton and elsewhere are among the county's most thrilling and distinctive architectural landmarks. Church interiors range from the unexpected delight of the traceried roof at Western Zoyland to the delicate seventeenth-century ceiling at East Brent. Elizabethan architecture appears at its most successful at Montacute while Dunster Castle boasts splendid interior decoration for the later seventeenth century. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century civic buildings of Martock, Milborne Port, Glastonbury and Chard are notable highlights on a more modest scale.

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Somerset is a serene county, varied in mood more then most, yet always mild wrote Pevsner, drawing attention to its freedom from the extremes of its neighbouring counties. Highlights of this volume are a full account of the Georgian marvels of Bath, and a separate section on the port of Bristol, whose sumptuous Victorian commercial buildings are among the best of their date in England. The fourteenth century Nunney Castle and John Nash's picturesque Blaise Hamlet are perfect examples of their type, while the cathedrals of Wells and Bristol and the Decorated Gothic of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol inspired some of Pevsner's most eloquent writing on the character of English Gothic architecture.

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2001 Reprint. 396 pages plus 56 pages of illustrations

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