Available Books

The Great Field by John James

- Souls at Play in a
Conscious Universe

Illusions of Paradise

Illusions of Paradise
- A family's experiences of Bali in 1971

Notes to Transformation - John James

Notes to Transformation
- A guide for the inner journey to the Self

Master Masons of Chartres - John James

The Master Masons of Chartres
- Chartres is one of the most impressive and exciting buildings from the Middle Ages

The Template-Makers of the Paris Basin - John James

The Templatemakers
of the Paris Basin

- Toichological techniques for identifying the pioneers of the Gothic movement

The Contractors of Chartres - John James

The Contractors of

- The basic analysis of the cathedral, how it was built

Arj of God - John James

The Ark of God
- Comprehensive pictorial history of Early Gothic churches in the Paris Basin

In Search of the Unknown in Medieval Architecture

In Search of the Unknown in Medieval Architecture



The Master Masons of Chartres by John James

The Master Masons of Chartres


John James, PhD


West Grinstead Publications, London, NY, Chartres and Sydney, 1990




Cloth bound, 250 mm x 190 mm    200 pages, 116 illustrations


Aud$55.00 (+ P&H)
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<<< FOR SPECIAL OFFER ON "THE ARK OF GOD" >>>>click here!
For $AUD 1,800 you may buy all 5 volumes directly from the author.

From the Author:

Chartres is one of the most impressive and exciting buildings from the Middle Ages, and is preserved almost intact. Yet we know nothing of the men who created it. In this masterpiece of detection, James shows how he came to identify the master masons from the stones themselves. His meticulous "reading" of the cathedral tells us much about these men, how they solved problems of engineering and design, how they raised two-ton stones 40 meters into the air, how one mason without telephone or printer controlled over 300 men on this gigantic workshop, He even extracts something of their artistic personalities.    


"This book, beautifully illustrated and written with an engaging enthusiasm and directness, contributes a great deal to our knowledge. He knows the building as well as the back of his hand. It is difficult to convey the detailed reading cod controlled excitement of a book in which the different levels of meaning tumble over one another, layer by layer. John James gives us a new appreciation of the living, growing and organic reality of medieval building."
John Lane


Chapter 1: The Cathedral
Chapter 2: Messiness can be a Virtue
Chapter 3: The Contractors
Chapter 4: Dating by Poetry
Chapter 5: The Client
Chapter 6: Putting Significance into Form
Chapter 7: The Architect
Chapter 8: More about the Contractors
Chapter 9: The Geometers
Chapter 10: Master Bronze at work


"When you examine the cathedral closely, you discover to your immense surprise that the design is not a well controlled and harmonious entity, but a mess. We tend to think of a great work of art like Chartres as having been thought through to the end before it was begun. But Chartres is not like this, not at all. Our vision has been conditioned by the homogenizing eye of the camera, but when we look carefully we see that there are few things at one end of the building that match those at the other. Windows and piers and buttresses change, as do hidden elements such as wells and footings,and of course all the details. The close we look the messier it becomes: there is no other word for it."

"Christianity is a progressive religion in which man moves from a state of original sin towards a greater understanding with God. Every pilgrim accepts a hierarchy of ideas when he enters the cathedral, such as the wet end being more mundane from which he "progresses" towards the altar and the rising sun in the east. Pilgrim's place is in the nave, and he prays towards the choir. The root of our word 'nave' is the same as navy, with its overtones of the ark, and of protection from the boundless fears of the deep."