'They defile the church'.
'At least they don't destroy it'.

The Spire

‘There were three sorts of people. Those who ran, those who stayed, and those who were built in’.

Set in medieval England, The Spire tells the story of one man’s vision – the construction of an enormous spire onto a cathedral without foundations.  Believing himself to be chosen by God, Jocelin, Dean of the Cathedral, insists that the spire must rise higher and higher, despite the singing pillars and the creeping ground.

Told with an inventive narration that reflects Jocelin’s ever-increasing madness, The Spire is an astonishing portrait of obsession, betrayal, and arrogance. Jocelin’s vision produces terrible consequences for those around him; the human ‘cost’ of one man’s folly.

The novel has been recorded by Benedict Cumberbatch as an audiobook.

Listen to Judy Golding discussing The Spire

Introducing The Spire


Inspiration for The Spire

Golding was a schoolmaster at Bishop Wordsworth’s School in Salisbury, and the window of his classroom looked directly out onto the spire on Salisbury Cathedral. […]

Explore & Search


Religion is a theme in many of Golding’s novels, including The Inheritors and The Spire.

News & Articles

Journey to The Spire

Having become enthralled by readings of William Golding’s The Spire, I decided to embark on my own kind of pilgrimage to Salisbury – where Golding […]