Stained Glass From Welsh Churches
By Martin Crampin
Published by Y Lolfa, 2014
This is an absolutely joy of a book, perfect for anyone who enjoys looking at churches in general or more specifically at stained glass windows in particular. It is the culmination of many years of research and dedicated church visiting and photography by Martin Crampin, and the fruits of his labours can be seen in the almost 800 colour photographs which lavishly illustrate this large and heavy hard-backed book.
The best and most notable extant stained glass windows from the Middle Ages right up to the present day are shown, from the smallest, most humble churches right up to spectacular large churches and cathedrals. Church windows from hamlets and towns, villages and cities are all well covered both in the text and the illustrations, and I particularly liked the the thematic nature of each chapter, making it easy to find representative windows from each time period/artistic movement. The very informative introduction describes the technicalities of creating stained glass and mentions the "Imaging The Bible In Wales" project (which is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to find stained glass by artist, church or place, and can be searched at http://imagingthebible.llgc.org.uk/ ) which inspired Martin Crampin to produce this volume.
I don't wish to impinge upon any copyrights, so I am including a link which shows page spreads from the book so you can judge for yourselves how stunning a book this actually is.
The only way I can see that this volume could ever be improved upon would be the inclusion of maps and Ordinance Survey map references/GPS locations for what can often be very difficult to find rural churches. With a book whose scope is as huge as this, there will inevitably be some amendments and corrections, and there is a regularly updated document file which can be downloaded here to keep the book as correct as possible.
At only £29.95, this is an absolute steal of a book and well worth every single penny; I have spent many delighted hours poring over it and will no doubt spend many, many more too, as well as toting the book around with me to various churches to visit the windows illustrated so beautifully :-)