A Guide to London's Churchesby Mervyn Blatch. Published by Constable & Co., 3 The Lanchesters, 162 Fulham Palace Road, London W6 9ER. 1978, 2nd ed. 1995. Illustrations, index, maps. 446 pp. £12.95. Tel: 011-44-181-741-3663. Fax: 011-44-181-748-7562.
Many researchers with English ancestry often find that they have some ancestors who lived in London. This guide gives superb details for many of London's superb churches. Obviously, not all churches are included because there are too many, in spite of those destroyed during the Dissolution, the Great Fire and World War II bombing.
The author has limited himself to what can roughly be termed inner London, and mostly pre-nineteenth century churches, although there are some exceptions. The story of London can be traced through its churches, a story richly illustrated by the many fine rebuilds after the Great Fire and 8th century new buildings as London spread outwards, east and west of the city.
Included are churches from: City of London (42); Towers (7); City of Westminster (27); Camden (11); Greenwich (6); Hackney (5); Hammersmith (4); Islington (5); Kensington and Chelsea (8); Lambeth (11); Lewisham (5); Southwark (7); Tower Hamlets (12); and Wandsworth (5). The descriptions for each church include: dedication; history; exterior; interior; furnishings; monuments; and associations. For anyone with London ancestry wanting to know more about the churches in the area this book is well worth examining. If you are going to be visiting London then it is certainly worth purchasing. It is the best of the London church guides that I have seen.
Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.4 no.2, 1997