The Conference Programme (Provisional) Facebook

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PRE--CONFERENCE TOUR - THURSDAY 13th October - Cost: £20 for the afternoon- book your place on this tour.

BristolCathedralMeet at 12:50 at Bristol Cathedral
13:00 - 14:30 -Bristol Cathedral Bristol Cathedral came to prominence in 1148 when Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially in the Choir, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European Architecture. The Nave, Choir and Aisles are all the same height, creating the appearance of a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a 'Hall Church' in Great Britain and one of the finest anywhere in the world. In 1539 the Abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII's commissioners and the nave, which was then being rebuilt, was destroyed. The building became the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in 1542. From the Twelfth Century it has been a place of daily prayer and a place where the city and diocese has marked great occasions. Walk to St Mary Redcliffe Church (1.1 miles and takes about 23 minutes - see map below)





15:00 - 16:30 - St Mary Redcliffe Church St Mary Redcliffe is an Anglican parish church located close to the centre of Bristol. There has been a Christian church on this site since 1115 CE. The Thirteenth century tower with its restored spire of 1872 rises 292 feet above the ‘red cliff’ from which the Church and the District derive their name. Constructed from the 12th to the 15th centuries, the church is a Grade 1 listed building renowned for the beauty of its Gothic architecture, and was described by Queen Elizabeth I as ‘the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England.’



Map of walk from Bristol Cathedral to Saint Mary Redcliffe Church

Map of walk from Bristol Cathedral to St Mary Redcliffe Church - 1.1 miles


POST--CONFERENCE TOUR - MONDAY 17th October - Cost: £55.00 for the day which includes your coach ticket, lunch, and all entrances fees - book your place on this tour.

Glastonbury Abbey and Wells Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace.

Glastonbury AbbeyFor this tour you will travel by coach to Glastonbury where Jon Cannon will meet the group and take you on a tour of Glastonbury Abbey. This will be followed by a talk in the Abbey Kitchen by ‘Matilda’, one of the oldest ‘pilgrims’ at the Abbey.  A buffet lunch of salad, baked potato, quiche, cold meat, fruit, pudding, and coffee is included in the cost of the day and will be held at Abbey House: You will then travel by coach to Wells Cathedral where Jon will lead you on the tour of the Cathedral. You will then have time for afternoon tea (own cost) before Jon takes you on a tour of the Bishop's Palace. The tour has been planned to complete in time for you to join in Choral Evensong in the Quire of Wells Cathedral. You will then return by coach to Bristol in the early evening. See full itinerary below.

Glastonbury Abbey

Wells Cathedral

(above) Wells Cathedral, below the Wells Cathedral astronomical clock


The Wells Cathedral Astronomical Clock
Wells Clock

The following summary is drawn from the book Wells Cathedral Clock by F Neale & A Lovell (available from the cathedral shop).

The astronomical clock is in the North Transept of Wells Cathedral. The original works were probably made about 1390 and are considered to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain and probably in the world. The inside dials and figures are of the same period, forming the oldest surviving original clock-face of its kind anywhere. The inside clock consists of the three circles, the outermost, the second and the innermost circle together with the moon plate, which has a medallion of Phoebe, the moon goddess of classical times, with a scroll reading “So travels the Moon” and another reading “ This rounded ball displays a model of the universe in miniature”.

The clock has figures of four horsemen whose painted faces date from the early 17th century, although their clothes are in the style of the late Middle Ages. There is also a figure of Jack Blandifer who strikes the bells of the hours and quarters with his heels. He also strikes the hour on the bell hanging in front of him. The outside clock dial and figures seem to be about a century later than the other figures.

Other such surviving astronomical clocks from the 14th and 15th centuries in England include three along the south coast at Exeter, Ottery St Mary and Wimborne Minster which could be reached by car before or after the seminar. For visitors arriving via London, there is the fine clock at Hampton Court created by Nicholas Kratzer and Nicholas Oursain for Henry VIII in 1540. In St Albans cathedral is a 20th century life-sized model of Richard of Wallingford’s astronomical clock of 1336 and half a century later (We owe a great debt to John North for all his work on Richard of Wallingford and his clock).

9:00 am - Leave Bristol by coach.
10:00 am - Arrive Glastonbury.
10:00 – 11:30 - Abbey tour with Jon Cannon.
11:30 - 12 noon - Abbey Kitchen talk with 'Matilda'.
12:00 – 13:15 - Lunch (cost included).
13:15 - Leave Glastonbury by coach.
13.30 - Arrive Wells.
13.45 - Wells Cathedral Tour with Jon Cannon.
15:15-15.45 Afternoon tea break (own cost).
15.45 - Walk to Palace.
16:00 - 17:00 - Bishop's Palace tour with Jon Cannon
17:15 - 18:15 - Choral Evensong in the Quire of Wells Cathedral.
18:30 - Leave Wells by coach.
19:30 - Arrive Bristol.









JonCannonBoth of these pre-conference tours will be conducted by Jon Cannon

Jon Cannon writes about old places in general and teaches medieval architectural history in particular. He teaches at the University of Bristol and frequently gives talks and leads tours. He has published articles and books on west country medieval buildings; in particular he is the author of Cathedral: The Great English Cathedrals and the World That Made Them (Constable, 2007) and the presenter of How to Build a Cathedral (BBC., 2007). He previously worked for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and English Heritage. In 2001 he was shortlisted for the David Watt Memorial Prize.

Jon lives in Wiltshire with his wife, the author Liu Hong, and three children.

CathedralsJon Cannon's masterpiece on the English Cathedral
- if you have your copy with you Jon is happy to sign it.


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