From the middle ages to the present day the houses of local clergy - parsonages, vicarages and rectories - have been among the most significant buildings in parishes throughout England. Architecturally some of the best and most fully documented domestic buildings, their history is that of the small and medium sized house, from medieval vernacular to the bespoke designs of leading Victorian architects and the more modest homes of today's clergy. The lives lived in the parsonage, factual and fictional (from Austen to Trollope and the televised struggles of `Rev' in London's East End in the 2010s) reveal not just a building, but a hub of spiritual and secular activity, at the heart of local life and linking it to wider, national history. In this engaging introduction, Kate Tiller brings together the architectural and social histories of the parsonage, drawing on the evidence of buildings, archival and literary accounts, and contemporary and modern images, to depict parsonages, their occupants and how their histories may be traced.
Dr Kate Tiller is Reader Emerita in English Local History at Oxford University, a Fellow of Kellogg College and a Visiting Fellow in English Local History at the University of Leicester. She has a longstanding interest in the religious and social history of local communities on which she has taught and published extensively. She was born in a Fenland vicarage built in 1857.
Parsonage Histories: Houses, Priests and People / Setting the Pattern: Medieval Priests' Houses / The Post-Reformation Parsonage / Georgian Parsonages: A Golden Age? / Victorian and Edwardian Heyday / Vicarages and Rectories: The Recent Past / Further Reading / Tracing the History of a Parsonage: A Checklist of Sources / Index