Travels Through Time

Travels Through Time


In each episode we ask a leading historian, novelist or public figure the tantalising question, ”If you could travel back through time, which year would you visit?” Once they have made their choice, then they guide us through that year in three telling scenes. We have visited Pompeii in 79AD, Jerusalem in 1187, the Tower of London in 1483, Colonial America in 1776, 10 Downing Street in 1940 and the Moon in 1969. Chosen as one of the Evening Standard’s Best History Podcasts of 2020. Presented weekly by Sunday Times bestselling writer Peter Moore, award-winning historian Violet Moller and Artemis Irvine.

Walking around a cathedral today can be a solemn and an awe-inspiring experience, but what if we could stand inside the same building and travel back 800 years or so? In this episode we do exactly that.

Our guide is Dr Emma J. Wells, a historian, broadcaster and author of Heaven on Earth: The Lives and Legacies of the World’s Greatest Cathedrals.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Emma visits sixteen world-renowned cathedrals ranging from Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, to the “northern powerhouse” of York Minster. She describes their origins, the striking and unusual stories attached to them and the people central to their history.

In this episode, Emma takes me to the high medieval period, when European architecture was falling in love with the gothic style and cathedral-building was at its height.

Dr Emma J. Wells’s new book Heaven on Earth is out now from Head of Zeus.

Show notes

Scene One: Canterbury cathedral, trinity chapel, the scene of St Thomas Becket’s elevation and translation into his new shrine.

Scene Two: Salisbury, the ceremonial laying of the first five foundation stones of the new cathedral after its move from Old Sarum.

Scene Three: Chartres, France, William me Breton described the growing cathedral’s vaults as bringing to ‘look like the shell of a tortoise’ referring to the higher vaults and a longer and wider nave than any other in Christendom.

Memento: To restore the “super-shrine” of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.


Presenter: Artemis Irvine

Guest: Dr Emma J. Wells

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Ace Cultural Tours

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