'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

View Judy Golding 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. […]

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

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Salisbury Literary Festival

Salisbury is an important place in the history and writing of William Golding and we were delighted to participate in the inaugural Salisbury Literary Festival, […]