At the Forefront of European Architecture?

Thursday 8th March 2018, 10.00-16.00

A review of West Country cathedrals in the Decorated period

Exeter Cathedral is delighted to be hosting this important event bringing together eminent speakers who will look at the extraordinary developments in architecture which took place in the West Country during the early 14th century.  This is a joint venture between the Friends of Exeter Cathedral and the Devon fund raising committee of the Art Fund who are grateful to Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood for their generous support for this meeting.

The West of England has some of the finest and most innovative cathedral architecture in Europe.  This day aims to provide a new insight into the great cathedrals at Exeter, Bristol, Wells and Salisbury.  The development of the Decorated style during major construction programmes at these locations in the early 14th century was in some regards at the forefront of European design.

This event will suitable for anyone with an interest in these cathedrals or with a general interest in Gothic architecture.

Ticket information

£35 (incl morning coffee/tea and a light buffet lunch)

Tickets on general release from Monday 2nd October 2017.  Available online and from 01392 285983.

Programme information

John Allan (Exeter) will consider the progress of building work at Exeter emphasising the interchange of personnel and artistic ideas with other major building programmes, including those at Wells, Bristol and Salisbury.  He will also look at evidence linking works in churches and demolished monastic houses which can be related to the Exeter Cathedral workshop during the first half of the 14th century.

Bristol, the most important west-facing port in medieval England, was home to two remarkable medieval churches.  Jon Cannon (Bristol) will look at the contribution of the enigmatic ‘Bristol Master’ and the vital role of Bristol Cathedral and St Mary Redcliffe in the story of 14th century architecture.

Jerry Sampson (Wells) will explore the development of the early 14th century choir within the Early English structure of Wells Cathedral, the building and support of the central tower, and the construction of the lady chapel and chapter house.  Jerry’s talk will include consideration of the significance of William Joy’s workshop and also his work at Ottery St Mary.

Salisbury Cathedral is by far the tallest medieval masonry building in Britain with its highest point at the top of its spire.  Tim Tatton-Brown (Salisbury) will examine the construction of the dramatic central tower and spire at Salisbury which is another remarkable early 14th century structure.




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