This lecture uses the English cathedrals as ‘time machines’ to the medieval period, tracing their story from the revolutionary birth of English Christianity in about 600AD, through the great rebuilding that followed the Conquest of 1066, to the decades around a century later when gothic was invented in an atmosphere of febrile change and political tension. It then follows the story through the cults and traumas of the fourteenth century, backdrop to England’s most extraordinary architectural miracles, and into the dynastic struggles of the late medieval era; struggles which eventually tore apart the very world that created the cathedrals. Throughout, beautiful photography of the buildings themselves, as well as of contemporary manuscripts and paintings, helps to use these buildings to bring to life the remarkable events they witnessed, and helping explain how these events shaped their architecture.
THE ARTS SOCIETY ACCREDITED LECTURER
Mr Jon Cannon
Wrote Cathedral: the Great English Cathedrals and the World that Made Them (2007), and presented BBC television's How to Build a Cathedral. The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Decoding Temples, Mosques, Churches and other Places of Worship around the World was published in 2013; the Shire book of Medieval Architectural Style the following year. He is currently working on a major book on geology and place in the British landscape. Other publications include numerous works for English Heritage and academic volumes on West Country churches.
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Teaches medieval cathedral architecture for the University of Oxford’s Department of Continuing Education; holds a degree in the History of Art from the University of Sussex. Lectures, gives study days and leads tours on medieval church art, architecture and history. Cathedral Historian at Bristol Cathedral.