Postgraduate Diploma at Architectural Association – Important Notice: The Conservation of Historic Buildings course has been suspended. This is a temporary suspension while the school works to re-organise the programme. Please regularly review the website for further updates.

Church Essay

The aim of the Church Restoration Essay is to investigate a medieval church building to understand its development and the changes it has undergone, most especially in the 19th century.

The primary evidence comes from close examination of the building. This is then supplemented by investigation of whatever documentary evidence for changes can be found and a critical reading of existing commentaries and histories.

 The essay, which need not exceed 5,000 words, should piece together the visual, archaeological and documentary evidence to produce an illustrated building history that is clear, even to those who have not visited the church. In particular, it should discuss the effects 19th century restorations had on the church fabric and contents and provide answers to three questions:

  1. Do the written accounts accurately assess the fabric as it exists today?
  2. What appears to be the driving philosophy behind the restoration?
  3. How have the restoration(s) affected the value of the medieval fabric as an historical document seen today?

The essay is set during term 1, developing themes explored during the Church Weekend visit. The the hand-in is during term 2.

The following are notable previous submissions: