Britain's Holiest Places Paperback
Britain's Holiest Places is now a major six part BBC4 Series Pagans and Pilgrims: Britain's Holiest Places.
Britain's Holiest Places reveals the astonishing spiritual heritage lying hidden in every corner of our country.
The result of a five-year journey from Orkney to the Channel Islands, it opens up a remarkable landscape shaped by centuries of faith.
There is something to surprise and enlighten anyone with a sense of the sacred - from miraculous healing pools, astounding works of devotional art, mysterious natural features, world-famous shrines, grand cathedrals to the humblest of country churches.
It includes 500 places in England, Wales and Scotland.
Each listing is illustrated and made easily accessible to the visitor, with much to inspire as well as much to challenge modern understanding of spiritual experience.
The book encompasses the entire spectrum of church and even folk traditions: Anglican, Catholic, Celtic, Orthodox, Non-Conformist, Presbyterian, Quaker and many others.
Written with a keen eye for the surreal as well as the sacred, the absurd as well as the serious, this book is the first complete survey of our islands sacred history.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 544 pages
- Publisher: Lifestyle Press Ltd
- Publication Date: 20/05/2011
- Category: History of religion
- ISBN: 9780954476748
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Review by Garzo
This is a beautiful book, part travel guide, part pilgrim manual. Its scope is simple yet comprehensive, a travel guide to the Christian holy places in Britain. It is unashamedly subjective, and necessarily so. However, the subjectivity is part of the books charm, including the star ratings based on strict criteria (with bonus stars if the author felt the place particularly spiritual). The book is divided into broad regions, subdivided into counties, with each place given from half a page to two pages write up, with beautiful pictures of each site. The author visits each place and gives up-to-date descriptions and directions (including GPS coordinates). The anecdotal style is full of charming asides, such as "two ladies I met cleaning the church had never heard of the well" and "...her holy well, scene of so many healing miracles. There is now an NHS walk-in centre directly underneath". Flipping back and forth through this well produced and well indexed labour of love, makes one want to hit the local pilgrim trail, kiss the part-hidden shrines of our obscure saints and take a dip into the cold millponds that were the places of baptism and healing for the first Christians of these islands.