Front Row

Westminster Abbey, The culture of the countryside, Gillian Allnutt

BBC Radio 4
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30 minutes Available for over a year First broadcast:
Latest broadcast:

A visit to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey.

Tom Dyckhoff assesses the £23m Weston Tower and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. Plus the appeal of the countryside to writers and poet Gillian Allnutt.

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.


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


Front Row

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