We are thrilled to be joined at Quay Words by writer and historian Ian Mortimer for this free Heritage Open Days event.

During his talk Ian will be talking about travel in the South West. We take it for granted that we can drive here or there when we want; we tend to forget that there was a time when people stayed put for most of their lives. Before the fourteenth century, most people were villeins, tied to the land, and legally not able to leave their place of birth without the permission of their lord. So, when did people start to move about and how did they do so? How fast could they go and why did it matter in the grand sweep of history? When did the inns they relied on start to appear? How good were the roads in the South West and how did people travel along them before stagecoaches? And what difference did the railways make when they appeared in the nineteenth century?

Ian will draw on his latest book Medieval Horizonsa fascinating account of how people’s horizons – their knowledge, experience and understanding of the world – expanded dramatically during the Middle Ages.

About the author

Dr Ian Mortimer is best known as the Sunday Times-bestselling author of the four Time Traveller’s Guides – to Medieval England, Elizabethan England, Restoration Britain and Regency Britain – as well as four critically acclaimed medieval biographies, a prize-winning novel and several other titles. His most recent novel, The Outcasts of Time, won the 2018 Winston Graham Prize for Historical Fiction. In total, his books have sold more than 1.4 million copies and been translated into sixteen languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. His work on the social history of medicine won the Alexander Prize in 2004 and was published by the Royal Historical Society in 2009. He has been described by The Times as ‘the most remarkable medieval historian of our time’. He lives on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon.

This event will be in-person at Exeter Custom House. You can find out more about the accessibility of the Custom House here. If you have any access needs you’d like to discuss with us before the event you can contact us on quaywords@literatureworks.org.uk. We can offer free carer tickets if you need help to support you to attend.