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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

By 1250 there were over eleven thousand parishes in Britain and every household was notionally allocated a parish church. This overview introduces the wider landscape of monastic houses, hospitals, and other institutions alongside informal devotion at places such as hermitages and stresses regional differences in sacred landscapes. It points to themes such as communications between churches and religious features such as wayside crosses, and links between urban spaces, parishes, and their churches, along with city-wide studies and the role of symbolism in town plans. Interdisciplinary approaches are fruitful, especially regarding responses to different kinds of space through the study of processional routes and performance places rendered holy at particular times of the year through communal behaviour. Finally, the display of religion through the architecture of steeples and towers is discussed and the impact of the attachment of landowners and their families to particular churches.

Keywords: medieval church, devotion, town plans, processional routes, sacred landscapes, performance

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