Today’s blog comes from Janet, Central Library staff, who explores exhilarating architecture at her coffee table:
One of the most memorable moments of my life was a rainy cold June day in Westminster Abbey. The exterior looked massive and very dark in the wet, but inside the stone arches just soared up and away from my eyes like nothing I had seen before.
At the time I felt awe and wonder. Now that I am older I feel even more awe and wonder at the master builders who raised these abbeys and cathedrals up from their paper plans. New and urgent problems had to be solved as the stone rose higher with the weight always pushing out and down. In fact many buildings did collapse often to be started again.
In Guided by a Stone-Mason: exploring the cathedrals, abbeys and churches of Britain, Thomas Maude tells the story. A stone mason by trade, he takes the reader on tour through British sites and reveals the intense medieval competition to build the finest and the tallest religious building in the land. It’s a fascinating account by a man who looks at the buildings as a builder and explains the extraordinary problems and solutions in plain language.
If you want to see beautiful colour images of these buildings, try books such as Cathedrals of the World by Graziella Leyla Ciaga, Churches and Cathedrals of London by Stephen Humphrey or High Gothic: the age of the great cathedrals by Gunther Binding.
Many of our fine art books are weighty and oversize as a result of the high standards in the publishing industry; so please handle with care. The images are crystal clear and the lighting and details are so perfect it makes me want to go see the world again.