Questions of Space Festival

On the 20 and 21 June 2016 Canterbury Cathedral hosts a series of public talks, walks, sights and sounds. The Festival of Ideas emerged from the partnership between the University of Kent and the Cathedral. The festival aims to engage new audiences with heritage as part of the Cathedral’s developing Canterbury Journey project.

There are several pre-modern material projects taking place as part of this event, including the following:

Off with their Heads!

As condemned prisoners began their route through Canterbury to execution at Oaten Hill in Renaissance times, the procession around them was full of song. This event recreates their journey to death, inviting you to hear and sing ballads of execution along the way.

Una McIlvenna (English)

Unlocking Canterbury

Many stories about Tudor and Stuart Canterbury can be unlocked from the Cathedral Archives. You can journey on our enormous floor map of historic Canterbury, hearing tales of ordinary people in their own words – from poor immigrants and single mothers to Cathedral officials and local governors.

Catherine Richardson, Avril Leach, Zoe Hudson and Danielle van den Heuvel (Medieval and Early Modern Studies)

Illuminating the Past

In a breath-taking display, this is a light projection onto the Cathedral exterior at night. The talk and spectacular illuminations will reveal how Britain’s first Gothic building was once adorned in splendid colours, and bring the past magically to life.

Emily Guerry (History)

Garden Paradise

What does a garden mean to you? An ancient map of the Cathedral grounds will help us to explore. Look at how through time gardens have been sacred places, romantic retreats, and places to think about how we connect with the environment.

Karen Jones, Barbara Bombi and Emily Guerry (History)

Bird’s Eye View

We will be delving into the archives to discover Christopher Packe, who in the 1700s climbed Bell Harry Tower to get a “bird’s eye view” of East Kent and, with the help of his theodolite (an instrument for taking precise measurements) created a new kind of map.

Gordana Fontana-Giusti (Architecture)

Secret Saints

Follow a winding trail to discover the stories and symbols behind the hidden and unexpected saints of Canterbury Cathedral. A family torn apart by pirates; children carried off by wild animals; a virgin martyr, tortured when her teeth are pulled out; the man who pinched the Devil’s nose; the woman who helped bring Christianity to England… all this and more will be revealed by looking at tombs, inscriptions and stained glass.

Anne Alwis (Classics)

For a full programme, along with details of how to book tickets, please see the Questions of Space Festival event website.