The BLF Conference and Gathering at Exeter, originally planned for Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September 2020 has been postponed to Friday 27 to Sunday 29 August 2021. The Gathering will be based at the University of Exeter with practical demonstrations at Exeter Cathedral.
Exeter deserves to be better known. It has a walled medieval city centre, which, though it suffered during WWII, still has enough medieval, Tudor and later buildings to be interesting. The Cathedral dates from 1050: the two towers are Norman and the magnificent west front (second only to Wells) was built between 1340 and 1470. The west front was worked on by the Bakers in the 1970s after their work at Wells and also gives examples of stone conservation from every decade since. While some work was done to the interior by the Victorians, a lot of medieval fabric (with original colour) and fittings (minstrels’ gallery and Bishop’s throne) remain.
The Gathering will be based at the Streatham Campus of the University of Exeter, built in a beautiful and lushly planted country estate, a Registered Botanic Garden. Our base for plenary sessions will be the Reed Hall of the University of Exeter, a splendid C19 grade II listed Italianate villa built for an India merchant.
The theme for the 2021 Conference and Gathering is Looking Back, Looking Forward: learning from the past to inform the future. There will be hands-on activities at Exeter Cathedral, where the west front, second only to Wells for its parade of medieval sculpture, was worked on by Eve and Robert Baker in the 1970s. Visits are being planned to the Wellington monument restoration project, Salcombe and Beer limestone quarries, where much of the stone was sourced for Exeter Cathedral and other notable local buildings.
Bed and breakfast accommodation (all with ensuite) is available in Holland Hall, a modern hall of residence two minutes from Reed Hall.
Booking will only open when it is certain that the event will take place. Watch this space!
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