This volume originated in discussions between the editors, Dr Stephen Hipkin (Department of History and American Studies, Canterbury Christ Church University), Mr Cecil Humphery-Smith, OBE (Founder of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, Canterbury), Dr Richard Baker (Principal of the IHgS), Dr Mark Bateson and Dr Malcolm Mercer (Canterbury Cathedral Archives), about holding a conference on medieval cathedrals. The participants in these discussions became the organising committee of the conference, which was duly held between 7 and 9 December 2007 at the North Holmes Road campus of Canterbury Christ Church University, just a few yards from the magnificent Canterbury cathedral, and was a great success. The editors are grateful to all the members of the organising committee for their hard work over many months. The success of the conference also owed a great deal to the scholars who kindly agreed to offer papers. The speakers included all the contributors to this volume along with Dr Julia Barrow of the Department of History, University of Nottingham, Dr Marie-Pierre Gelin, University College London, Mr Cecil Humphery-Smith [whose paper was subsequently published as ‘Medieval Heraldry, Cathedrals and Social Interchange’, Family History: The Journal of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies 23 (196), 2008, 325—35], Catherine Schulze, University of toronto, and Sarah Thomas, University of glasgow.