Pevsner described the pairing of church and parsonage as a feature of the English village unparalleled on the Continent. John Betjeman saw the design of rectories and vicarages as highly influential on our architecture. Forsaken by the Church but coveted by the private buyer, this is the story of these quintessentially English houses, with their combination of fine architecture, charm and character, large gardens and often splendidly rural locations.The Old Rectory examines their history, their evolution through the centuries, their many and varied styles of architecture, and their place in our heritage. It also explores the contribution made to our culture by the clerical families who once occupied these houses, and the famous people and eccentrics who have been associated with them. Finally, it considers their current role, and what the future might hold.