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CLL's Dr Emma Wells reveals historical rivalry

Posted on 7 January 2019

Centre for Lifelong Learning's Dr Emma Wells, reveals the historical rivalry between two of Britain's most beautiful cathedrals.

Dr Emma Wells, Programme Leader of the PGDip in Parish Church Studies and the MA in English Building History, has had her recent research published in The Telegraph. Her research looks at the 12th-century gothic sweep across Europe of cathedrals and how the competition for the largest audiences became ugly. 

In The Telegraph article 'Canterbury cathedral fire in 12th century was arson committed by monks 'jealous' of Durham's beautiful architecture, historian claims in new book' Dr Wells talks about how her research has led her to believe that monks at Canterbury cathedral set the fire to the church to enable them to build the crypt and compete with Durham Cathedral's architecture. The research was subsequently picked up by BBC4 Radio 4’s Today Programme and BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast.

This research can be found in her forthcoming book, 'Heaven On Earth: The Lives & Legacies of the World’s Greatest Cathedrals (forthcoming, Head of Zeus)'.