Benefice of Boldre & South Baddesley

Tel: 01590 673 484
Email the Office

We enjoyed our play-reading . . . a very Medieval mystery!

Murder in the CathedralIn the 1170's, a French Master Mason wins a competition to rebuild and enlarge the Quire of Canterbury Cathedral, recently destroyed by fire, and comes to England to start his work. But what has he got himself into? Was the fire an act of arson by the monks, eager to make more money from pilgims visiting the Cathedral's new major attraction - the tomb of the martyred Thomas Becket? And what happens to the mason, William of Sens, as he sets about injecting all the knowledge he's gained in the building of Notre-Dame de Paris into this new vanity project of the English Church? What jealousies does he create? And what weakness of character brings about his downfall - both figurative and literal - in the very moment of his triumph?

After a successful career as a novelist, Dorothy L Sayers - mistress of the detective story and creator of Britain's greatest amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, turned her literary skills to the stage - first taking Lord Peter there in 1936 ("Busman's Honeymoon"), and then while the play was still in rehearsal, responding to a request from the organisers of the Canterbury Festival to write a drama for performance in Canterbury Cathedral, following the hugely successful 1935 staging there of T. S. Eliot's "Murder in the Cathedral". The resulting play, "The Zeal of Thy House", was her dramatisation in blank verse of the life and work of William of Sens, Master Stonemason and architect of the rebuilding of Canterbury Cathedral

We had a great evening at The Filly Inn, on the Lymington Road on Thursday 21st March 2024, reading this lesser known - but very dramatic - work by Dorothy L Sayers. For those who enjoyed "The Zeal of Thy House" there is a recording of a radio version of the play from 1948 available on YouTube (search for "The Zeal of Thy House by Dorothy L. Sayers (CBC Radio Drama)" - or online texts may be available from



Powered by Church Edit