Travel writer Christopher Somerville will talk about his new book, Ships of Heaven, in College Hall at 7pm on Wednesday 17 April.

Ships of HeavenThe Private Life of Britain’s Cathedrals, has been written following visits to 20 beautiful, iconic cathedrals in Britain. Stepping behind the scenes Christopher investigated the private lives of these buildings, meeting all sorts of people along the way, from bishops to glaziers, cleaners to stonemasons to lost souls in the back row, seeking out just what makes the cathedrals tick. 

Christopher goes behind the scenes to seek out believers, non-believers and troubled souls, bishops and architects, glass makers and embroiderers, the Holy Duster who cleans the ears and noses of the cathedral monuments, and the stonemason who judges his building stone by the way it tastes. He travels with a motley crew of jolly rogues and prophets, of builders and bishops; painters dangling at a rope’s end, monks who watch as their life’s work comes crashing down before their eyes. In such colourful company we delve deep into the private life and the uncertain future of these ever-voyaging Ships of Heaven.

Christopher Somerville is the walking correspondent of The Times. He is one of Britain’s most respected and prolific travel writers, with forty-two books, hundreds of newspaper articles and many TV and radio appearances to his name. He has spent 25 years writing and broadcasting about country walks (and tougher hikes), life in remote rural and island communities from Scotland to Crete by way of the Faroes, music-making in Irish pubs, festivals from Spain to Sweden, and the pleasure and delight of telling stories and weaving yarns

The event has been organised by Rossiter Books. Tickets cost £6 and also entitle the ticket holder to £3 off the book at the event. They are available from Rossiter Books in Leominster (01568611766) and Ross on Wye (01989 564464) or online via