Of the numerous works recently called into existence by the prevalent spirit of inquiry and research into the Ecclesiastical Architecture of the Middle Ages, none has supplied such an analysis of details as is absolutely essential, no less for the complete abstract elucidation of the principles of this great art, than for their correct practical application. The present work has been undertaken with a view to supply this deficiency, by presenting a series of good and pure specimens of the various details which occur in Church Architecture, as they are exemplified in existing Edifices. The examples thus selected commence with the closing style of the Romanesque, and range throughout the Gothick era, properly so called.
The Authors, desirous to adhere in every respect to their plan of producing a practical rather than an historical work on English Church Architecture, have purposely avoided all notice and illustration of the architecture of the Anglo-Saxons. Many excellent treatises have been devoted to the investigation of the style of building at this remote period, and much of both curious and valuable information has been thus elicited. Saxon Architecture, however, though abounding in materials for interesting research to the antiquary and historian, is at best but rude and barbarous as a constructive system, and consequently by the architect of the present day it cannot be considered as a guide or authority. And indeed its successor, the Anglo-Norman, has but very few, if any claims to our regard and adoption.