The Maplesteads' WEA


The WEA runs Spring and Autumn term adult education courses in the Village Hall.


The Maplesteads' WEA Autumn 2017 course started on the 18th September 2017, when potential participants attended the course overview of The Building of the English Church c320-1901; Church Architecture from the Saxons to the Victorians and met the tutor Colin Canfield.


The introductory session, with wine and a finger-buffet, started at 7.00pm - all subsequent sessions commence at 7.45pm. Each session will last for around 1.5hrs.


The course is 9 weeks long, costs £48.60 and includes two field trips, lasting from about 10.00am – 3.00pm. It is essential that course members should be able to attend at least the first three presentations and one of the field trips.


WEA ChurchVisiting village churches is an enjoyable pastime for many. But knowing a bit about how English Ecclesiastical Architecture developed – through the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles – can make such visits much more interesting.


This course will provide a chronological treatment of the development of the various styles of English church architecture through to 1901; it will examine a few individual themes, including C17th and C18th church sculpture and the effect on mediaeval church building of the local geology, and it will provide opportunity for course members to examine a few local churches for themselves, in order to put what they have learnt into practice “in the field”.


By the end of the course participants will be able to:

1. Recognise common features and styles of church architecture.

2. Carry out systematic examinations of church buildings.

3. Form independent judgements about their history.

4. Suggest the likely sequence of a church’s development through time.


Hopefully, this course will lead to a greater enjoyment in visiting churches, whether in towns, villages or in the countryside.


Recommended reading for the course includes:


Title Author(s) Publisher/Date
Buildings of England: Essex

Bettley, James

Pevsner, Nikolaus

Yale University Press, 1974

Illustrated Dictionary of
Architecture 800-1914
Harris, John & Jill Lever

Faber & Faber, 1966

An attempt to discriminate the styles of architecture
in England
Rickman, Thomas


Parker & Co., 1817 (available as a reprint)

English Romanesque Architecture: Vol. 1, Before the Conquest Clapham, Sir Alfred

Oxford University Press, 1930

English Romanesque Architecture: Vol. 2, After the
Clapham, Sir Alfred

Oxford University Press, 1930

The Decorated Style Coldstream, Nicola

British Museum Press, 1994  

The Perpendicular Style Harvey, John

Batsford, 1978

Church Carpentry - a Study Based on Essex Examples Hewett, Cecil A.

Phillimore, 1982

The Pattern of English Building Clifton-Taylor, Alec

Faber & Faber, 1972

Dictionary of British Sculptors, 1660-1851 Gunnis, Rupert

The Abbey Library, 1951

Contrasts Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore

Self-published by the author, 1836

Church Builders of the Nineteenth Century Clarke, Basil F.L.

SPCK, 1938 or David &

Charles Reprints, 1969


For further information please contact the Maplesteads WEA Secretary, Jean Bowers