Power & Piety is an ambitious project to visit, describe and photograph over one thousand monastic houses to be found in England and Wales. The communities of monks, nuns and friars that lived there exercised a powerful influence on society, culture, art, learning and agriculture.
As the religious orders accumulated land and wealth, there arose from the English countryside the most magnificent churches and conventual buildings that reflected their high status. However, this religious fervour was not to last and was finally extinguished between 1536 and 1540, when Henry VIII ordered the dissolution and destruction of all monasteries. Yet, much has survived to remind us of a momentous period in our history.
During our near twenty-year collaboration, we have visited virtually all the monastic remains described in these books and have taken thousands of photographs. Others have generously permitted the use of their photographs in places we have been unable to reach. Our selection has been made to illustrate some of the more interesting features on each site, as well as the elaborate architectural detail that has survived in many monasteries. It is hoped that these might encourage a visit when in the vicinity, or persuade some intrepid adventurers that a long journey would be worthwhile.
These four volumes cover the whole of England and Wales. Later volumes, already in production will cover, Scotland and Ireland. The intention being to provide a definitive guide to all the monastic houses of medieval Britain.
The foreword was kindly written by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, for which we are very grateful.
As you explore the sample pages provided for each of the four volumes you will see the detailed gazetteer and location maps for each property. A short history is provided to bring them to life in your imagination. The thousands of full colour photographs are all provided with detailed captions and will guide you as to what to search for when you visit the sites.
All four volumes are now available from Amazon and other booksellers.
Please buy one or more copies and have your own record of Britain's wonderful monastic heritage.
Thank you. Günter Endres & Graham Hobster
Power & Piety - The ultimate guide for seeking out the magnificent monastic houses of medieval England. Well laid out with maps and detailed descriptions to help the visitor seek out the some 900 monastic houses of UK’s medieval Christendom. Having visited this area of England before, I began with volume four of the series. Through the wonderful photographs and county by county details, one becomes immersed in the rise of monasticism in the late 6th century; through the widespread destruction by the Danes, the Norman Conquest of 1066 and the final dissolution by Henry VIII in mid-16th century. Through all of this, great and modest abbeys and cathedrals were built, many destroyed and rebuilt, some just lost to time; but many magnificent buildings are still with us today. From Gloucester Cathedral that graces the cover to Lady Godiva’s statue, to the magnificent wood carving of King David’s father Jesse in Wales, history comes alive. If you’re planning a visit to witness first-hand the living history as expressed in these wonderful structures, this book series is a must.