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Searching for Early Welsh Churches

A study in ecclesiastical geology

John F. Potter
Publication Year:
496pp. Illustrated throughout, two in colour
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This work follows the study of the ecclesiastical geology of almost all Anglo-Saxon religious sites throughout England. There, it proved possible to both understand and distinguish clearly obvious patterns in the use of stonework, to determine the use and value of specific rock types, and to illustrate diagnostic features which could be used to identify building of that period. Subsequent studies of ecclesiastical sites, in Scotland and the Scottish Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland expanded the valueof the English studies by revealing closely analogous examples of the same indicative features. Beyond the domain of the Anglo-Saxons but of the same age, they were shown to follow a fashion; to this fashion the name 'Patterned' was applied.

'John Potter, compiler of this monumental survey of the ecclesiastical geology of ancient Welsh churches, is a phenomenon…This is, very largely, the first time that Welsh churches have been surveyed in this way, and his work has been able to explain much about the unique features of church buildings in the Principality,…this is a stupendous achievement which, despite being a massive illustrated litany, also manages to be feisty, opinionated and readable. It is a most valuable addition to the growing literature of a subject still in its infancy.' Ted Nield, Geoscientist Online (The Geological Society).