Church of St Mary the Virgin, Halkyn

Yet another stunning example of a period church, set overlooking the River Dee in Halkyn, North Wales this church dates back to the late 1870’s this Anglican parish church was a lucky find for me, I accidentally saw it whilst travelling up the A55 towards St. Asaph, compared to previous churches I have photographed, this one is relatively small in comparison but none the less, still a beautiful looking church.

St. Mary’s is a listed building, situated on the eastern side of Halkyn Mountain and with fantastic views over the river Dee and it’s estuary. John Douglas of Chester completed it in 1878. Made of local sandstone, it was given as a gift to the parish by the Duke of Westminster to replace the previous church that was reputedly pulled down because it spoilt the view. St. Mary’s has the unique features of polished crinoidal limestone pillars and a beautiful font carved of similar material. It also has many striking stained glass windows. The church is generally maintained in good condition and has an active church community to fund-raise and help to maintain it.




St Mary the Virgin, Halkyn

Mdes Degree Show 2019

The photographs exhibited are part of a series that concentrates on depictions of different places of worship. Researching these sites I was intrigued by the architects who designed them, the textures utilised in the building materials at the time of construction and the minuscule details of the adorning sculptures.


Albeit from an atheist’s perspective I am charmed by the Gothic and medieval appearances of certain places of worship, the history that the chosen subject oozes and the calm feeling that you get when you study one for a while. The ultra-wide-angle lens chosen to capture these images sometimes distorts the photographs to enhance a sense of personification of the buildings. I particularly enjoy capturing photographs of churches especially the older, gothic and more ornate ones. St. Margaret’s, Hopton on Sea is a mid-eighteenth century church, built to replace an older church which had unfortunately burnt down. St. Margaret’s has a gothic feel with its unusual hexagonal spire and turreted top. It is something I am in awe of, it is an absolutely stunning example of brilliant architecture from the early ages.


Churches come in all shapes and sizes and an example is the thatched roof one depicted here. This is also known as St. Margaret’s church but is located in Hales, Norfolk. I managed to photograph this beautiful hidden little gem during a visit to the East Anglian coast. St Margaret’s is a redundant Anglican episcopal church which dates back to the eleventh century. The third photograph in this collection was taken during a recent research visit to Turkey. It is called Side Fatih Camii (Fatih Mosque, Side). Although this place of worship is relatively new in comparison to the others it is still a stunning piece of architecture. During my visit there I was fortunate enough to be invited inside. I was completely overawed, taken aback by what I saw, it was stunning and absolutely beautiful!


Overall the photographs that give me the most pleasure are the ones taken of churches.  When I look through the camera lens, I find myself almost transported back in time and imagine the parishioners going about their daily business, toing and froing from the church.  Whilst taking the photographs I feel a sense of calm as if nothing else matters. At that moment in time I almost feel as if I am at one with the building and at peace.

Below are the three photographs that I chose for my final degree show which were printed onto a 75 x 50 cm Canvas resulting in a fantastic set of images in my opinion.


Side Fatih Camii (Fatih Mosque, Side Turkey)
St Margaret's, Hopton-on-Sea (2) - Copy
St Margaret’s Church, Hopton On Sea, Norwich
St Margaret's Hales
St Margaret’s Church, Hales, Norwich

Gwersyllt Parish Church


The church dedicated to the Holy Trinity is in Early Decorated style, from the designs of Mr Thomas Penson of Oswestry (1790-1859) and comprises of chancel and nave with a south porch and a tower at the north east angle, surmounted by a spire, the base of which forms the vestry.

Unfortunately I have been unable to find anything out about the architect of this magnificent building, I do know it is built from sandstone and a slate roof, very much similar to all churches that were built around that time.

Side Selimiye Camii & Side Fatih Camii


The Camii (Mosques) that I was fortunate to photograph during my recent visits to Turkey are stunning and even awe inspiring, the tall masjid with the megaphone attached to them so they can ‘call to prayer’ also known in the muslim world as azan which happens 5 times per day which are

Salat al-fajr: dawn, before sunrise

Salat al-zuhr: midday, after the sun passes its highest

Salat al-‘asr: the late part of the afternoon

Salat al-maghrib: just after sunset

Salat al-‘isha: between sunset and midnight


I was fortunate enough to be able to go inside the one above, what an unbelievable experience that was, the grand scale of the place, the expensive look and feel of the building it was truly jaw dropping, I remeber when I went insode i just stood there amazed for a minute or two and then said ‘WOW’

The Call to Prayer


The Holy Trinity Church Bickerton


The church above was a lucky find for myself, located in Bickerton, Cheshire it is a grade II listed active Anglican church serving the diocese of Chester, built in 1840 as a chapel to St Malpas, then in 1843 becoming the church for Bickerton, it has a gothic revival style of architecture, red sandston with a slate roof, a small church nearing it’s 200th birthday, a lovely little church and a gem to boot, I decided to photograph this at night to see how different it looked compared to the daytime, I am quite pleased I did as it turned out quite well.



Castles and churches

Markus Brunetti

The journey began in 2005 and it’s not over yet. For self-confessed nomad and photographer Markus Brunetti, Façades – a series of large-scale images of European churches and cathedrals – still needs more work.

He got the idea for it while travelling through the continent with his partner, Betty Schöner, in their so-called “expedition truck”. A vehicle they’d converted themselves, the truck allowed them to live and work on the move, travelling from country to country on what the Bavarian calls their “Grand Tour”; it also allowed them to take time out from their busy working lives as commercial photographers, and to let projects unfold at their own rate.

Chartres  Cathedral, France © Markus Brunetti

Markus Brunetti’s Monumental Church Façades

Andy Marshall

Andy Marshall (@fotofacade) is an architectural photographer with an informed understanding of the built environment. Throughout that time he has developed a distinctive visual relationship with architectural form and space, which translates uniquely into his photography.

Although Andy does a lot of different type of photography compared to myself, I find his work to be both interesting and stimulating.


salisbury interior
Salisbury Cathedral Interior ©Andy Marshall



Tony Howell

Tony Howell is a professional photographer with over 40 years experience based in Truro, Cornwall. He has written three Photography books and his images have been used in countless other books, calendars, magazines, on television, in a Hollywood Movie, billboards, brochures, catalogues, greeting cards, posters, postcards, websites, national newspapers, fleets of vans and much more.

You can see Tony’s photographic work of churches here.


Use all or part of description

© Tony Howell

St Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

St Margaret’s is a visually stunning 19th century church with one of the most extraordinary towers in Britain. It is known as the “Marble Church” because of the 13 different kinds of marble used to create the beautiful and delicate looking interior.

Designed by architect John Gibson¹ The Marble Church is one of a few structures that he was commissioned for, he designed Dobroyd Castle which is set high in the Todmorden moors and he also designed Todmorden Unitarian Church, Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

St, Margaret’s church has a very Gothic look to it with the little crosses adorning every apex that is visible, built from Limestone from nearby Llandulas, the church has a very clean look to it, I didn’t really see much weathering on the structure, the roof is constructed of slate from a nearby mine, you could say local supplies for a local church, that is until you venture inside where the 13 different types of marble stem from all over Europe. A truly stunning and eye-catching church.

I received inspiration for this type of photography from an artist called Markus Brunetti, an example of his work can be seen here




¹ The Victorian Web. (2016). John Gibson (1817–1892). Available: Last accessed 25-03-2019.