In 2007 I published Cathedral: the great English cathedrals and the world that made them, which went paperback in 2011. Sadly, as of early 2014 it is temporarily out of print, though I understand a new edition is planned for 2015; as I only learnt this when I was getting hold of new stock of my own, I do not even have spare copies to sell you, though these seem to be available at the usual used books retailers, online and otherwise.

This ground-breaking work uses the English cathedrals as a window on the medieval world, revealing the personalities, institutions and rituals which explain their design and development. It draws together the latest research, is vividly, attractively and authoritatively written, and has an essential place on the bookshelf of any lover of English architecture, history or the medieval world.

Cathedral was beautifully produced by the good people at Constable ( It describes these extraordinary medieval buildings as the products of people, rather than simply as works of architecture. In it you will learn how the cathedrals functioned as institutions, how they developed over time, and be introduced to the politics and personalities behind each building. The book comes with a historical overview, thematic chapters, and an individual essay on each building. It covers the period from St Augustine’s mission to the English (598) to the Reformation (1540). For a glimpse of its beautiful interior, try Amazon’s Look Inside pages.

One result was the BBCTV programme How to Build a Cathedral, which I presented:(

This was one of the most enjoyable and satisfying projects I have ever worked on, and (to my great relief) very well received (for example, It still has fallouts, such as an appearance being interviewed by Aled Jones on Songs of Praise in 2011.

  1. Mark Harrison
    November 9, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Dear Mr.Cannon, I really enjoyed your BBC series and wanted to ask was if you knew of any available copies of Cathedral. It goes without saying that I’d much rather buy it directly from you!
    Let us know.


    • November 9, 2015 at 11:12 pm

      Very many thanks. Have replied via email.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: