Speaker: Janet Gough
1 June 2021

Medieval cloisters, originally a monastic built space linking other buildings, have in spite of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s probably survived better in England than anywhere else. This is largely because English cathedral communities recognised their great usefulness and experimented with cutting edge architecture in building cloisters and in so doing created some extraordinarily beautiful spaces. This talk follows the development of the 15 or so cathedral cloisters in England with spectacular photographs. These will hopefully encourage visitors to cathedrals to look beyond the cathedral church buildings and more closely at the cloisters attached to them.

For eight years the Church of England’s Director of Church Buildings and Secretary of the Church Buildings Council and Cathedrals Fabric Commission, Janet has written two illustrated paperbacks to encourage greater enjoyment of these amazing buildings and has produced and presented a TV series on cathedrals. A Cambridge graduate in History and History of Art, Janet worked at Sotheby’s for nine years, was a trustee at the Churches Conservation Trust, the Museum of Fulham Palace and the Friends of the V&A and guided and lectured at the V&A. Janet received an OBE for services to heritage in January 2017.