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Text Medieval stonemasons

TLF ID M011219

This resource is about the medieval stonemason. It includes text and some images. The resource is organised under four topic headings: A mason's craft; Soaring monuments; Heavenly Jerusalem; and Find out more. Interposed in the text are images of Ely Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and Wells Cathedral.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is valuable for the study of medieval Europe and addresse the Australian Curriculum: History year 8 content description relating to the cultural achievements, including architecture, of medieval Europe. It describes the importance of the mason in medieval society. The soaring Gothic cathedrals, a hallmark of the medieval period, were imagined, designed and built by masons using only compasses, a set square and a rope marked off in halves, thirds and fifths.
  • The decorations on cathedrals shown in this resource illustrate the beliefs and ideas of the medieval period in Europe. Images depicted were a combination of symbols of the pagan past, such as including fertility symbols, along with small animals and birds, grotesque figures and, most importantly, traditional Christian images of saints and miracles. As an extension activity students in groups could research the decorations on one of the cathedrals shown in this resource and prepare a multimedia presentation.
  • The resource outlines the lengthy and complex processes involved in building great structures such as cathedrals. It describes the numerous skills of master masons who produced these grand structures with few mechanical aids, using oxen to transport the heavy stones, scaffolding to reach the higher sections and cranes and pulleys to lift materials.
Year level


Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Text
  • Image
  • Resource: BBC © 2012, except where indicated otherwise. You may download, copy and communicate this material for free, and use it in digital and hardcopy format for non-commercial educational use in Australian schools and TAFE institutions, provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material. 'Interactive' image: © Education Services Australia Limited 2012. You may copy, communicate and adapt this image for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the image.