Spotters guide

Very few ancient churches are built in the style of one architectural period. There are around 10,000 churches of medieval origin in the UK. They were all built for the same purpose, but no two are the same.

The term church was used originally to describe the Christian community, and only later came to mean the building used for worship. Churches are traditionally aligned on an east to west axis.

These pages will help you to discover some of the wonderful things to see both inside and outside churches, chapels and meeting houses and help you to understand them when you get out and explore for yourself.



Step into history

All churches, chapels and meeting houses have gone through stages of building and development over time.

Discover how to spot these architectural details, and step back in time with us to see how a typical parish church might have looked at various points in its life.

Find out more

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