Until now if I was to stand a look at a building I could tell you the basic elements, windows, doors, roof, gables, eaves and soffits. But there is a lot more to learn for the amateur. In this little book Rice takes us way back to Norman architecture, with an explanation of key design elements of the that time, and illustrated with cheeky little sketches of buildings and details from pilasters to pediments, buttresses to bulls eyes and queen post to quoins.
I really liked the sketches in the book too; they are little freehand ones that have a certain charm, panache and humour to them. There are broad brushed strokes of significant buildings that he recommends you visit, detailed ones of the specific elements that you should look for to date a building and even a set for the brick, stone and other materials that you will find. The explanations are clear as he describes how trends drift from one era to another and significant architects are highlighted in the text. One thing that did bug me was that key elements were highlighted in capitals and so were other random elements. Generally, not a bad introduction to architecture.