Christopher Somerville

Ships of Heaven

Date: Saturday 21st September 2019
Venue: St Peter’s Church
Time: 12pm
Tickets: £12 (Students: £10)

When Christopher Somerville, author of The January Man, set out to explore Britain’s 100-plus cathedrals, he found his fixed ideas shaken to the roots. Believing them to be great unmoving bastions of tradition, he discovered buildings and communities that have been in constant upheaval for a thousand years.

In a fascinating event, he’ll share stories of the monarchs and bishops who ordered the building of these massive but unstable structures, the masons whose genius brought them into being, and the peasant labourers who erected (and died on) the scaffolding.

We’ll 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, the revival brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and the hope and disillusion of two world wars.

Meet architects and archaeologists, the cleaner who dusts the monuments and the mason who judges stone by its taste, and hear of the uncertain futures of some of the finest buildings to grace the land.

Talking to Julia Wheeler

Christopher Somerville,Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival
Christopher Somerville,Ships of Heaven,Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival