Book Reviews: A Little Devine In-Spire-Ation; Towers, Spires and Pinnacles (History of Cathedrals and Churches of the Church of Ireland) by Sam Hutchinson. (Wordwell, Co Wicklow (Euro25)
Byline: BILLY KENNEDY
THIS splendid book on the great and rich architecture of the Church of Ireland is a quite unique publication, in that it is the first to deal specifically with this fascinating and historically-grounded subject.
There are approximately 1,100 Church of Ireland buildings still open for worship (interestingly a remarkable 650 in the Republic of Ireland, and 450 in Northern Ireland!).
These range from the medieval; ancient parish churches in the care of the Reformation to the modern new churches in more Protestant areas of Northern Ireland.
The 162-page book is illustrated with a canopy of colour photographs of churches great and small, and the Gothic, Celtic, Georgian, Non-Classical, Victorian and Edwardian designs provide a wonderful contrast.
Many of the churches, especially in the Republic, are memorials to a civilisation and way of life that no longer exists.
Author Sam Hutchison says the Anglo-Irish aristocracy in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries had their faults, but lack of taste was rarely one of them and this is reflected in the many lovely churches handed down. …