Dr Emma J. Wells

Dr Emma J. Wells


Dr Emma J. Wells is an historian of religious and architectural history, specialising particularly in the medieval and early modern eras. She is a passion advocate of the buildings history approach which seeks to understand people and the past through their surroundings. Her expertise covers everything from parish churches and cathedrals, the saints, pilgrimage and stained glass, to historic buildings in the modern age. Emma is the author of Pilgrim Routes of the British Isles (Hale, 2016) and is the midst of finalising another on the senses in the medieval church for OUP. Her next book, Heaven On Earth: The Lives & Legacies of the World’s Greatest Cathedrals will be published by Head of Zeus (2020/21).

Emma writes often and reviews for newspapers and magazines, including BBC History, History Today, the Times Literary Supplement, History Revealed and BBC Countryfile. A lively broadcaster and frequent acclaimed public speaker at literary festivals, academic conferences and corporate lectures, Emma’s experience also stretches beyond the world of religion and architecture, having lectured in archaeology, history, and art. She wrote and presented a three-part documentary for Viral History on St Cuthbert’s Way and appears often as a talking head as well as podcast contributor, with appearances on History Hit’s Art Detective, History Extra, and as a ‘Don’ on BBC Radio 4’s The 3rd Degree.

Emma gained her PhD from Durham University, for which she was awarded the 2011-12 British Archaeological Association Ochs Scholarship and Society for Church Archaeology Research Grant. She is now a lecturer and Programme Director of English Building History and Parish Church Studies at the University of York, and a Research Associate within the Department of Archaeology.

She gained her racing licence aged 18 and previously raced with Formula Woman.

Dr Emma J. Wells @Emma_J_Wells

Very exciting conversation with a stockist...soon Inside History will be on real magazine racks in all its glory. Thanks to @DrLindseyFitz, @drjohnwoolf, @wyattauthor3 and @History_Chap for helping to make it happen.

#OTD 869: Feast of St Edmund. 1,150 anniversary. Danish force led by Hinguar + Ubba pillaged country, descending upon kingdom of East Anglia + seized its ruler, Edmund. He possibly perished in battle but legend suggests was tied to tree + beaten before fired w/ volley of arrows.

My drive into work this morning was better than yours 😝 #York

#AnimalsInChurches #AGrandEntrance @johnevigar @pacoulmag @stiffleaf @MorleyRA @Wuzmi @sarahjigpoon @DEmiliopics @DrJACameron @last_of_england @ArtGuideAlex @Rach_Arnold @bwthornton @cotentinologue1 @DrFrancisYoung @Emma_J_Wells @FRH_Europe @Moodyarchive

Spent perhaps a little too long on my #artofthelost Canterbury Cathedral conference PowerPoint this afternoon... well, just over a week to go!

#TFW you think someone is watching you... (@ExeterCathedral tomb of Bishop Hugh Oldham)

Pershore Abbey, Worcs was 1 of largest abbeys in country, dissolved 1539. Locals saved church by purchasing it for own use. What remains is Quire (now Nave) with ploughshare vaulting, combo triforium/clerestory + lantern tower. Mix of Norman, Early English, Decorated + Victorian.

#OTD 1600: Charles I was born at Dunfermline Castle in Fife, Scotland. Second son of James VI of Scotland/James I of England + Anne of Denmark. He became heir to the throne on death of brother, Prince Henry, in 1612. He succeeded, as the 2nd Stuart King of Great Britain, in 1625.

A very small piece of writing advice:

Don't try to be the next [insert name of Big Fancy Author].

Aim to be the first [your name goes here].

This is such excellent advice. I often don't know *precisely* what I think until I start writing, and it's in the process of writing and close reading a text that my ideas really start to emerge. https://twitter.com/SurreyDocCol/status/1196118405100789761

Absolutely. I work myself to the bone trying to ensure all of my students get what they need. There’s only 1 of me. There are cohorts + cohorts of them. Why do I do it? For the love of my subject, it’s future + theirs. Then this—all of this. Wading through treacle comes to mind.

Thank you for all your wonderful responses (too many for me to keep up with). If you haven’t shared yours yet, please do. I am very much enjoying seeing the sites and your reasons for choosing them.

Genuinely think Twitter would improve immeasurably if people took a moment to think abt why they are replying to others, esp strangers.
If it is to be supportive, or to congratulate or be nice - cool.
If it is to correct something wrong or challenge a bad take - can be necessary.