Ships Of Heaven: The Private Life of Britain’s Cathedrals

Somerville, Christopher

£9.99

When Christopher Somerville, author of the ‘The January Man’, set out to explore Britain’s cathedrals, he found his fixed ideas shaken to the roots. Starting out, he pictured cathedrals – Britain possesses over 100 – as great unmoving bastions of tradition. But as he journeys among favourites old and new, he discovers buildings and communities that have been in constant upheaval for a thousand years. Here are stories of the monarchs and bishops who ordered the building of these massive but unstable structures, the masons whose genius brought them into being, the peasant labourers who erected (and died on) the scaffolding.

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Description

‘Somerville is one of our finest gazetteers of the British countryside. He brings his formidable knowledge to bear on his personal quest to explore the cathedrals in this entrancing book’
The Spectator

Christopher Somerville, author of the acclaimed The January Man, pictured cathedrals as great unmoving bastions of tradition. But as he journeys among Britian’s favourites, old and new, he discovers buildings and communities that have been in constant upheaval for a thousand years. Here are stories of the monarchs and bishops who ordered the construction of these buildings, the masons whose genius brought them into being, and the peasants who worked and died on the scaffolding. We learn of rogue saints exploited by holy sinners, the pomp and prosperity that followed these ships of stone, the towns that grew up in their shadows.

Meeting believers and non-believers, architects and archaeologists, the cleaner who dusts the monuments and the mason who judges stone by its taste, we delve deep into the private lives and the uncertain future of these ever-voyaging Ships of Heaven.

‘Somerville paints word pictures of exquisite quality’
Church Times

Additional information

Weight 264 g
Dimensions 198 × 127 × 22 mm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

viii, 341 , 16 unnumbered of plates

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

726.60941 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K