A Paradise Garden: The Art of Medieval Natural Symbols and Lichfield: Revealing England’s Forgotten Cathedral

By Dr Jonathan Foyle

Monday 12 April 2021

Dr Jonathan Foyle was Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain for eight years,
and Curator of Historic Buildings at Hampton Court. He is a frequent feature writer for
the Financial Times on issues of architecture, history, and craft, and has published several
books on English Cathedrals including Lichfield, Lincoln and Canterbury. A presenter of
numerous television series including BBC4’s Henry VIII: Patron or Plunderer? and
BBC2’s Climbing Great Buildings, he lectures frequently on a range of art-historical topics.

A Paradise Garden: The Art of Medieval Natural Symbols

Chichester Cathedral, Lady Chapel

Our churches and cathedrals are packed with symbols that make much better sense if you
understand the meanings and associations behind them. An author of five monographs on
cathedrals, Jonathan will present a guide on to how to see through medieval eyes, using
manuscripts and paintings to emphasise the worldview that saw order and meaning expressed through the colours, numbers, shapes and behaviour of plants and animals. Once you see the logic of the language, there is no going back!

Lichfield: Revealing England’s Forgotten Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral from the SW

Lichfield Cathedral was established in the seventh century and grew to be one of the
country’s most distinctive buildings with its three stone spires. But what does its architecture tell us of the experience and ambitions of those who shaped it? Jonathan who has written a book on the cathedral will weave the evidence of wars, kings, martyrs, and the concept of paradise into the story, showing how and why Lichfield emulated the wonders of royal Paris in the heart of Staffordshire.

These two lectures will be delivered on Zoom on 12 April and all members are
invited to attend. An invitation to join will be sent out to the membership a few
days in advance