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Front Row

Westminster Abbey, The culture of the countryside, Gillian Allnutt

Duration: 30 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FMLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio 4 FM

Available for over a year

The £23m Weston Tower and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey will be opening to the public next month. Architecture critic and historian Tom Dyckhoff gives his response to these two new additions to the abbey church, the site of all royal coronations since William the Conqueror in 1066.

Why are so many British writers setting their stories in the countryside at the moment? From the second series of the BBC comedy drama This Country, to plays including Barney Norris's Nightfall, Joe White's Mayfly and Simon Longman's Gundog, and novels such as Jon McGregor's Reservoir 13 and Ali Smith's Autumn, writers are turning to a new vision of 'the pastoral' for inspiration. Writer Barney Norris joins novelist Sarah Hall - who was born and raised in the Lake District - to consider whether writing about the countryside has become part of the zeitgeist again and why.

Gillian Allnutt's career as a poet stretches over four decades. In 2016 she was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. The poet discusses and reads from her new collection, Wake.

Presenter Samira Ahmed
Producer Jerome Weatherald. Show less


Samira Ahmed
Interviewed Guest:
Tom Dyckhoff
Interviewed Guest:
Barney Norris
Interviewed Guest:
Sarah Hall
Interviewed Guest:
Gillian Allnutt

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