Jon Cannon


Jon is currently working on his postgraduate thesis entitled “Patronal Influence and Corporate Identity in English Medieval Church Architecture.”

Selected publications


  • Medieval Architectural Style (Shire Books, 2014), 95pp.
  • The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Decoding churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship around the world (Duncan Baird Publishers, 2013), 224pp.
  • The Medieval Art, Architecture and history of Bristol Cathedral: an enigma explored (Boydell & Brewer, 2011), 376pp (co-editor, with Beth Williamson)
  • Westbury on Trym: monastery, minster and college (Bristol Record Society, 2010), 276pp, with Nicholas Orme
  • Cathedral: The Great English Cathedrals and the World that Made Them (London: Constable, 2007), 543 pp.

A major work on the English landscape is in the pipeline for 2015/16

Chapters and articles

  • “Introduction" and "Berkeley Patronage and the Fourteenth-century eastern arm" in Cannon and Williamson, eds.,  Medieval Art, Architecture and history of Bristol Cathedral: an enigma explored, 1-16 and 148-185.
  • “New Myths at Swallowhead: the Past and the Present in the Landscape of the Marlborough Downs” in Graham Brown, David Field, and David McOmish, eds., The Avebury Landscape, Oxbow Books, 2005.
  • “The Absent Figure: On Authorship and Meaning in the Fourteenth-Century Eastern Arm of St Augustine's, Bristol” Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society 48 (2004).
  • “A Welsh Bard in Wiltshire: Iolo Morganwg, Silbury and the Sarsens,” Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine 97 (2004), 78–88.  With Mary-Ann Constantine.


  • “Marian Architecture? The English Cathedral Lady Chapel” in Sarah Boss, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Virgin Mary
  •  “The tombs don’t fit” appendix to Andor Gomme, Bristol: An architectural history (Revised edition)
  • “Gothic remodelling itself? Restoration and intention at the Outer North Porch of St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol” being prepared for submission to the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, based on a paper given at the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2004.


Co-organiser, “An Enigma Explored: Medieval Art and Architecture at Bristol Cathedral,” a conference held at the University of Bristol, 19-21 September 2008

Television and radio

A journalist and presenter as well as an architectural historian, in 2008 Jon presented and co-wrote How to Build a Cathedral on BBC4, and appeared on Excess Baggage on BBC Radio Four


Jon has taught undergraduate and MA courses at the University of Bristol, for the departments of History of Art and Historical Studies since 2008, and continuing education courses since 2003. He has also taught courses on medieval architecture at the Oxford University Summer School (2007, 2008, 2010) and continuing education dayschools and 10-week courses at the Universities of Oxford (Rewley House) and Reading. He is in demand as a public speaker and tour leader, and an accredited NADFAS lecturer. He is also a lay canon, Keeper of the Fabric, at Bristol cathedral.

Personal Websites

Part-time Teacher


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