How to Build a Cathedral

Constructing the story of a medieval masterpiece

Malcolm Hislop

Gothic cathedrals are astonishing feats of construction and engineering, from a period before steel frames and machine tools, breathtaking in their scale and grandeur even hundreds of years after the religious impulse that produced them has largely faded away. Focusing on the golden age of cathedral construction, How to Build a Cathedral looks at each element of the structure in turn, from the ground plan to the topping out of the spire, and explains the medieval building process in detail. With text by a leading architectural historian, and sidebars telling the stories of the men behind the stones, this information-packed volume is an illuminating portrait of the genius of the medieval architect.

It explores and explains the building of these masterpieces from the ground plan to raising the spire. Beautiful engravings, specially commissioned illustrations and foldout pages allow a visual exploration of cathedral construction and A sixteen-page colour section enhances the appreciation of medieval building techniques, stained glass and coloured stonework.

Published: Nov, 2012

MALCOLM HISLOP is an independent archaeological consultant with over 30 years' experience in the investigation and interpretation of historic buildings. He read History and Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, and completed a PhD thesis based on the architectural works of the fourteenth-century master builder, John Lewyn of Durham. He regularly writes about medieval buildings for academic journals, and has a particular interest in the process of design and construction in the Middle Ages. His publications include Medieval Masons (2000 and 2010) and John Lewyn of Durham: A Medieval Mason in Practice (2007).

  • 224 pages
  • h 280mm x w 254mm
  • hardback
  • 208pp 1x1; 16pp 4x4
  • 65,000 words

The following rights for this title have already been sold:


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