Online Lecture: ‘Vault Design at Ely Cathedral, Ely’ with Alex Buchanan and Nick Webb, 29 June 2021, 14–15pm (BST)

Some of the most remarkable features of medieval works of architecture, particularly greater churches and cathedrals, are the ribbed vaults spanning their interior spaces. For over nine hundred years, they have inspired worshippers and visitors alike, their eyes drawn heavenwards by these captivating constructions, prompting the question ‘How did they do that?’ No corresponding texts or drawings survive but digital methods now enable us to propose answers.

The Tracing the Past project at the University of Liverpool, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has spent the past seven years recording and analysing vaults in England. This lecture will introduce the project and share some of its key findings in relation to Ely Cathedral.

Register for a place here.

You might also be interested in the associated workshop. Further details are available here:

Recommended for:

Young adults & adults – no prior knowledge necessary.

Language: English

Lecturers: Alex Buchanan and Nick Webb

Lecturers’ Profiles:

Alex Buchanan is an archivist and architectural historian specialising in medieval architecture; Nick Webb is an architect and architectural historian specialising in digital methods. Together they are the investigators on ‘Tracing the Past’, an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project at the University of Liverpool exploring medieval vaults using digital methods (see

Joining the lecture:

The lecture will be delivered via Zoom. You will receive a Zoom workshop link and password to join the workshop after registration. The lecture will start promptly at the given time.


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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