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  • The Stonemason

  • A History of Building Britain
  • By: Andrew Ziminski
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Summary

Part hands-on archaeological history of Britain, part deeply personal insight into this ancient craft by a stonemason who has worked on Britain's greatest monuments, from Salisbury Cathedral to St Paul's.  

Following a tradition that dates back hundreds of years, stonemason Andrew Ziminski has worked on many of Britain's greatest monuments, from the Roman ruins of Bath to Salisbury Cathedral's spire to St Paul's, and his three decades of work give a unique perspective on the warp and weft of English history, nature and geology.

From the first stone megaliths put up by Neolithic farmers through the Roman baths and temples, from the Anglo-Saxon and Norman churches to the engine houses, mills and aqueducts of the Industrial revolution, in The Stonemason Andrew journeys around by way of river, road and sea to explore the routes that ideas, migrants and building materials took to create some of Britain's most iconic historic buildings and ancient monuments.

©2019 Andrew Ziminski (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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An Encyclopedia of the History of Stonemasonry

This is an absolutely wonderful story and beautifully written by Andrew Ziminski. Facts, figures and well informed insights pop up in profusion. Not only is Ziminski a master of his craft but he has a deep understanding of its history and tells his story in a wonderfully engaging way.

I was simply blown away with the amount of learning available in this book and I would urge anyone with an interest in our ancient buildings and monuments to read and be totally absorbed by this wonderful book.

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Took me to all my favourite places during lockdown

This book has been the most enjoyable I have read / listened to for many many years. A continually surprising combination of history, science and geography fused together with a unique insight from a traditional craftsman who clearly loves and is grateful for his calling. It is a beautifully refreshing evocation of our cultural history, described not only in terms of our buildings but in the myths, beliefs, politics and human stories that inspired them. As an ED nurse during the COVID 19 pandemic it has provided me with invaluable stress relief and a vivid new appreciation of places that I know well and love: the ancient landscape of Wessex, the city of Bath and the Kennet and Avon Canal where I live on my boat when not at work. The narrators voice is perfect for this book - a gentle lilt which wonderfully portrays the calm and methodical approach of the stonemason mixed with the inquisitiveness and joy of the “eureka” moments of understanding which have influenced his path and philosophy of life. Truly uplifting and inspirational.

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What a brilliant and informative listen

Andrew is evidently a legend of the world of preservation. I loved this book. It is sensitive, extraordinarily well informed and utterly enjoyable. It covers a good amount of history as well as the craft of the stonemason and their tools. I really can not recommend this enough to anyone interested in history or indeed just a good story. Fascinating and brilliant. I will give it a month or two and start from the beginning again. There is so much information it merits a second visit and quite probably a third and fourth. Clearly, I suggest you sally forth and get this book.

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Loved it

The best book I have purchased this year. I listen over and over as it's interesting, relaxing and is a mixture of personal experiences combined with historical information. I listen most nights and it helps me relax as it's beautifully read and if I fall asleep I just carry on wherever I have got to the next evening.

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Good bit of history and masonry insight.

interesting journey through time and trade of the stone Mason. Interesting g for all