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Exeter Cathedral

The Garden of Paradise

Jonathan Foyle with Diane Walker

    ISBN: 978 1 78551 235 3

    Size: 280 x 240 mm

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 128

    In association with:

    Date published: December, 2020

    Date published: January, 2021

    UK £19.95 /US $24.95


  • Illuminates the fascinating history of Exeter Cathedral, a building that still marks the heart of Exeter city
  • Touches on the perspective of its builders, and how their creation reflected a particular understanding of the world, and the realm they envisioned beyond us
  • Illustrated with specially commissioned photography that draws on archaeology, archives and imagery


The gloriously embellished Exeter Cathedral showcases one of the most brilliantly inventive periods in English architecture during the 13th and 14th centuries, while retaining the two bold towers of its Norman predecessor. Architectural historian Dr Jonathan Foyle, with assistance from Diane Walker, links the story of this wonderful building with the personalities of Exeter’s princely bishops, spiritual advisors to kings. He argues that it was inspired by the contemporary perception of Mary as a defended walled garden abundant with flowers and fruit, with St Peter as a gatekeeper to this fertile Paradise. Richly illustrated with specially commissioned photography, this engagingly written and beautiful book offers a new perspective on one of England’s great religious buildings.

Author information

Dr Jonathan Foyle has devoted his career to the preservation and public appreciation of historic buildings. He lectures widely and is a regular contributor to the Financial Times on architecture and craft. Diane Walker is an independent researcher and author of Exeter Cathedral’s new souvenir guidebook.