Publication Date: 06/10/2022 ISBN: 9781529396430 Category:

If These Stones Could Talk

Peter Stanford

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 06/10/2022 ISBN: 9781529396430 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



‘A heavenly book, elegant and thoughtful. Get one for yourself and one for the church-crawler in your life!’ Lucy Worsley

Christianity has been central to the lives of the people of Britain and Ireland for almost 2,000 years. It has given us laws, customs, traditions and our national character. From a persecuted minority in Roman Britannia through the ‘golden age’ of Anglo-Saxon monasticism, the devastating impact of the Vikings, the alliance of church and state after the Norman Conquest to the turmoil of the Reformation that saw the English monarch replace the Pope and the Puritan Commonwealth that replaced the king, it is a tangled, tumultuous story of faith and achievement, division and bloodshed.

In If These Stones Could Talk Peter Stanford journeys through England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to churches, abbeys, chapels and cathedrals, grand and humble, ruined and thriving, ancient and modern, to chronicle how a religion that began in the Middle East came to define our past and shape our present. In exploring the stories of these buildings that are still so much a part of the landscape, the details of their design, the treasured objects that are housed within them, the people who once stood in their pulpits and those who sat in their pews, he builds century by century the narrative of what Christianity has meant to the nations of the British Isles, how it is reflected in the relationship between rulers and ruled, and the sense it gives about who we are and how we live with each other.

‘There is no better navigator through the space in which art, culture and spirituality meet than Peter Stanford’ Cole Moreton, Independent on Sunday

Publisher Review

Someone new to both church history and church-crawling (when he or she can find a church open) would learn a good deal from this agreeably written book. -- Lucy Beckett * TLS * I have long found the books of Peter Stanford to be always entertaining and stimulating. This rich and varied text . . . ought to be enjoyed by a wide audience as it describes and comments on nearly 2000 years of religion among the many cultures that have come and gone in that time. -- Peter Costello * Irish Catholic * Setting out to relate the history of Christianity on these islands through a selection of churches or monasteries may seem a bold or even foolhardy undertaking. However, Stanford pulls it off with flair and conviction. * The Irish Examiner * In this rich and beguiling book, Peter Stanford gets old stones to tell us about the turbulent history of Christianity in the British Isles. * Richard Holloway * "Stanford romps engagingly through the centuries in what he describes as an "ordering and assembling of Christian history as told by a selection of 'crawled' churches... highly engaging... I thoroughly recommend this book as an excellent and eminently readable overview of that history." * The Church Times * It explores the history of Christianity through its sacred buildings and delves into the stories that are part of our landscape... I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. * Jumoke Fashola - BBC Radio London * A compelling read * The Scottish Catholic *

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible