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Choices part time courses for adults Adult education courses at Cardiff University

Medieval Art and Architecture II

Level 0 (CQFW Level 3), 10 Credits.

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A course of illustrated lectures on medieval art and architecture as seen in parish churches.  Emphasis will be on their importance as an expression of the spirit of the age.

A wide selection of churches will be examined, including:

Escobme (Durham): A late 7th century church, one of the most important survivals of the architecture of the time of the Venerable Bede. It is one of only three complete Saxon churches in England.

Berkeley (Glos): The church is predominantly early Gothic. The fine Berkeley Chapel has some imposing alabaster and effigies commemorating a succession of lords of the nearby castle.

Patrington (Yorks): One of the most beautiful of English parish churches. It is predominantly in the mid-Gothic style, built first before the Black Death struck in 1348-9, which creates a unity rare in medieval British churches.

Ludlow (Shropshire): A magnificent late medieval church in the late Perpendicular style, it is known as ‘the Cathedral of the Marches’. Richly decorated and furnished with a considerable amount of medieval glass of the highest quality.

Eardisley (Herefordshire): The church here has one of the most striking of the fonts carved by the mid-12th century Herefordshire School of Romanesque sculpture.

Each church will be examined in depth: its history, socio-economic context, the particular aspects of theology emphasised during the various phases of its building, the influences on its art and architecture and, in the case of larger churches, of their patrons. All these have created the buildings that we see today.

Who is this course for?

Anyone with an interest in the topic. This is a Level 0 (foundation) course, so no previous knowledge is assumed.

Learning and Teaching

There will be a series of illustrated lectures, with plenty of opportunities for questions and discussion.

Coursework and Assessment

Students are encouraged to keep a course diary, and have the option of writing an essay.

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

C.Platt: The Parish Churches of Medieval England, London 1981 or more recent reprint London 1995.       
R.Morris: Churches in the Landscape, London 1989.
S.Jenkins: England’s Thousand Best churches, Penguin, London 1990.

For Reference:
G.Webb: Architecture in Britain. The Middle Ages, Pelican History of Art, Harmondsworth 1956 (or later reprints, now produced by Yale).
J.Betjeman (Ed.): Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches, 3rd. ed., 2 vols, London 1968.  Brief entries divided into North and South.
David Macaulay: Cathedral: the Story of Its Construction. Collins, 1974, 1976, 1979.
Thomas Maude: Guided by a Stonemason: Cathedrals, Abbeys and Churches of Britain Unveiled, I B Tauris & Co Ltd; 1997
P. & L. Murray: The Oxford Companion to Christian Art & Architecture, Oxford 1996.
Henry Thorold : Collins Guide To Cathedrals, Abbeys And Priories Of England And Wales, Collins, 1986.

Also, relevant volumes in the N. Pevsner Buildings of England (Pevsner Architectural Guides) series.

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.