Maximising church visits
Kirsten Claiden-Yardley | May 15, 2012
As part of my DPhil research I have been visiting churches around England in order to see surviving noble tombs from the Tudor period. On the face of it, this is a fairly straight-forward task. However, over the past year and a half I have come to realise that there is a difference between just visiting a church and researching in one. Below are some of things that I have learnt along the way.
1) Church websites are of variable quality. Some have lots of information about opening times, church history, monuments etc. Others just have a page on achurchnearyou which hasn’t been filled in.
2) Even with the correct postcode, some churches are surprisingly hard to locate (especially when they are accessed through a restaurant carpark)
3) Pick up the guide to the church. Even when they are just a side of A4 run off on someone’s printer. They often contain useful snippets of information and when some come in at 25p there’s really no excuse not to buy one.
5) Take lots of photos. Photograph the tomb. Then photograph it again from another angle. Then take lots of close ups. Then get a photograph of the tomb in its wider context. Then get some photos of other tombs. Then get some photos of the church. And a week later you’ll probably still find yourself wanting the one shot that you didn’t take.
6) Don’t expect everything to go to plan. Sometimes, despite all your planning, you still get to the church and find that it has been closed for organ refurbishment…