President’s Symposium, October 2019

The subject of this year’s symposium was Exeter Cathedral.

Held at Petroc College, Tiverton on Saturday 5 October, it was hosted by our 2019–20 President John Allan.

Fully booked!

Nowadays, after many generations of study, the international importance of Exeter Cathedral is widely appreciated, but it might be thought that such a richly documented and intensively-studied building has received so much attention that there is little fresh to say about it. In fact the opposite is the case: a remarkable range of scholars in Britain and abroad continue to make exciting progress in understanding this familiar structure.

The symposium will present five papers illustrating a range of current work on historical aspects of the building, its artistic connections, monuments, patrons and music. The cathedral is also, of course, a living community and in the afternoon session we will look at aspects of its modern life, focussing on its traditional masoncraft and the care of its outstanding library and archive.

Many thanks to John Allan for organising such an enjoyable day. A report and some photos will appear on this page shortly.


9:30–10:00 am Registration and coffee

Welcome and brief introduction
– John Allan, DA President

‘A Petite Cloche, Grand Son’: Bishop John Grandisson and Exeter Cathedral
– Brian & Moira Gittos, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York

Interregnum to restoration: Music at Exeter Cathedral in the context of the Civil War, focussing on the life of Matthew Locke
– David Davies, freelance classical musician and organist at the University of Exeter

11:30-11:40 am Break

Some episcopal enigmas from Exeter Cathedral
– Diane Walker, independent scholar, Exeter Cathedral

Archaeology and the study of Exeter Cathedral
– John Allan, DA President

1:00–2:00 pm Lunch

The Courtenays and Exeter Cathedral (an addition to the printed programme)

– Charles Courtenay, Earl of Devon

To be followed by:

Demonstrations of modern masoncraft at the Cathedral
– Chris Sampson, Clerk of Works, and members of the team of masons

The care and use of the Cathedral’s ancient manuscripts
– Ellie Jones, Cathedral Archivist

3:15–4:00 pm Tea

For reference, a copy of the event’s flyer can be downloaded here.