Summer School 2017
Excursion to Wells Cathedral on Thursday 29 June 2017
Tour guide: Jon Cannon
About Jon Cannon
I have a vocation, and it's to do with places; with communicating, enthusing, analyzing - in short, extollagising - about the nature of 'old places', and what makes them tick. I get especially excited about the sacredness of place, and the human place-making that results from it: a po-faced way of saying I love religious architecture in particular. English medieval churches are my academic specialism.
This a calling without a career structure. Writing lies at the heart of it, but like many writers I do other things which help earn a living and which arise from the expertise I've gathered on the way. But these, for me, are not add-ons: lecturing, teaching and tour-leading, copywriting and editing for heritage organizations, academic research: all are essential elements in what is a seamless and overlapping range of concerns.
You might, indeed, come across my books, Cathedral: the great English cathedrals and the world that made them (2007), The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces, (2013), The Shire book of Medieval Church Architecture (2014). I am currently writing a major work on the British landscape, slated for publication in 2016. You might also have come across my BBCTV documentary, How to Build a Cathedral, which was widely praised.
Among other things, I teach regularly at the University of Bristol (mainly in the History of Art department), lead tours for Martin Randall Travel and others; am a Lay Canon (keeper of the fabric) at Bristol cathedral, and am a Member of Council for the British Archaeological Association. I am also an accredited NADFAS lecturer. My piece of journalism about North Korea (east Asia plays a big part in my life: my wife is the Chinese author Liu Hong) for the London Review of Books some years ago was shortlisted for the David Watt Memorial Prize.
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