Summer Solstice at Jodrell Bank

The Three Cultures? Alan Garner: Art, Myth, Science

21 Jun, 2024

£32 – £45

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with a day of panels, screenings and walks celebrating novelist Alan Garner; one of the most significant and interesting writers of our generation.

A long-time resident of Alderley Edge, his work is inspired by its history, drawing on its rooted archaeology and its connections to the larger universe through Jodrell Bank Observatory and the Square Kilometre Array.

In this, his 90th year, a handpicked cohort of specialists from the realms of archaeology, physics and literature will gather at this key site to discuss how Garner’s fiction has inspired them, and explore how time and place are re-imagined in his classic novels.

Join us and dive into the boundless imagination of one of the UK’s most prolific contemporary storytellers as academics, authors and artists come together in celebration of Alan Garner – book tickets today!

Scroll down for the full programme of events, details of speakers and further information. 

SPECIAL OFFER – Add ‘An Evening with Sarah Perry’ to your booking at a discounted rate when you book a daytime ticket. A discount code will be provided with your booking confirmation email, valid for a limited time only. 

Daytime Programme

  • 10.30 – 10.45     Introduction
  • 10.45 – 11.45      Panel Discussion: Archaeotecture, chaired by Professor Teresa Anderson with Professor Clive Ruggles, Professor Bob Cywinski
    • Strands of Alan Garner’s work have emerged from dialogue with researchers in many disciplines. This panel explores the conversation between disciplines: can we see imaginative continuities between ancient cosmologies and those proposed by cutting-edge researchers? How do scientific discovery, fiction and other creative methods, advance our sense of our place in the universe?
  • 12.00 – 12.45     Lunch (pre-ordered)
  • 12.45 – 13.15      Summer Solstice at the Meridian Line in the First Light Pavilion
  • 13.15 – 14.00      ‘A Walk in Time’ with archaeologist Melanie Giles
    • Explore the Jodrell Bank site with archaeologist Melanie Giles, reflecting on some of the objects and ideas which have inspired Alan Garner’s work. This will include a chance to handle some archaeological artefacts and replicas which speak to the themes of landscape lore, craft skill and apotropaic protection present across his writing.
  • 14.00 – 14.45     To The Round Meadow: Alan Garner & Jodrell Bank. A film by Al Kenny
    • To The Round Meadow presents a conversation between Alan Garner and Elizabeth Garner, discussing his personal relationship with the site of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank.
  • 14.45 – 15.45     Panel Discussion: Archaeology & the Imagination of Place, chaired by Melanie Giles with Tim Campbell-Green and Richard Morris
    • Alan Garner’s work has often drawn upon the past, weaving archaeological knowledge, finds and folklore into his stories and essays. In this session, a variety of of archaeologists share insights into their relationships with this author and discuss how his work has shaped their own practice, reflecting on conversations, research projects and discoveries which have changed their understandings about the ‘deep time’ histories of  Jodrell, Blackden and the surrounding Cheshire landscape. The speakers will be Tim Campbell-Green on Pieces of the Past: A Tale of Blackden, Richard Morris on Environmental history in Garner country: some questions and reflections, and Melanie Giles and Rose Ferraby on Alan Garner and archaeology: correspondences across time.
  • 16.15 – 17.15        Panel Discussion: Place Across Time chaired by Professor John Mcauliffe with Elizabeth Garner and David Matthews
    • Drawing on Alan Garner’s fiction and its depiction of place across time, medieval scholar David Matthews, novelist Elizabeth Garner and poet John Mcauliffe will discuss the different ways in which historical and mythological time intersect in imaginative fictions, poetry and actual landscapes.
  • 17.30 – 18.30     Dinner (pre-ordered)

Evening Programme (Ticket sold separately)

Alan Garner

Alan Garner is an author who has been named as one of the fifty greatest post-war English writers. His most recent novel Treacle Walker was shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2022. He has written in many fields; novels; retellings of myths and folktales; a memoir; essays; libretti; film scripts; TV plays and documentaries; photographic books (with Roger Hill); and The Beauty Things, a view of how we react with history and memory (with Mark Edmonds). He has won several prizes for his writing, both national and international, and in 2001 he was awarded the OBE for services to literature. He holds four honorary doctorates and is a Fellow of The Society of Antiquaries of London and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature. He co-founded The Blackden Trust in 2004.

Ticket Prices

Full Price (Daytime)
Student (Daytime)
Full Price (Evening)
Concession/Student (Evening)
UoM Coach Ticket


There will be a University of Manchester coach running from Oxford Road to Jodrell Bank and back on the day. Please note this is for UoM students and staff only.

The coach costs £5 for a return journey. You can specify which return time you would like at the point of booking your ticket.

  • 08:30: Coach Collection from outside the Manchester Museum on Oxford Road to Jodrell Bank
  • 17:30: Coach leaves Jodrell Bank and drops off at Oxford Road. This coach leaves at the end of The Three Cultures? Alan Garner: Art, Myth, Science day.
  • 20:15: Coach leaves Jodrell Bank and drops off at Oxford Road. This coach leaves at the end of the Sarah Perry event.

There are 25 places on each coach.


Ploughman’s Platter, £6.95

Pre-order your summer ploughman’s platter with locally sourced produce from across the county. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available. Prepared in takeaway boxes so you can enjoy your meal on the grounds of the site if the weather is kind.

image In collaboration with Creative Manchester