Dr Emma J. Wells

Dr Emma J. Wells


Dr Emma J. Wells is an historian of buildings and how we understand people the past through our surroundings. Her expertise covers everything from parish churches and cathedrals to historic buildings and how they change in the modern age. She is a former Lecturer at the University of York but is now an Honorary Research Fellow at Durham University yet spends her days heading up the Historic Buildings Team as a Principal Consultant for SLR Consulting.

Emma is the author of Heaven On Earth: The Lives & Legacies of the World’s Greatest Cathedrals (Head of Zeus, 2022) Pilgrim Routes of the British Isles (Hale, 2016).

She is a lively and experienced public speaker and communicator, with appearances and keynote speeches delivered at the Church Times Festival, the British Library, Oxford Literary Festival, The Charterhouse, London, and the Savile Club. She writes often communicating her wider expertise across various mediums (e.g., BBC History, The Times, Aeon, History Today, BBC radio) and on podcasts (e.g., HistoryHit’s Gone Medieval, History Hack, Food Matters). Emma has also contributed to numerous TV documentaries as both an on-screen expert and historical consultant, including for the BBC, Channel 4, Curiosity Stream, Yesterday, Channel 5, and many more. 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.

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 a trustee of the Church Conservation Trust.

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

Dr Emma J. Wells @Emma_J_Wells

A great few days in Oxford. Thanks to all who attended my talk at the @oxfordlitfest. It was a fantastic sell-out event and great to see so many familiar faces.

Churches & their Naughty Bits -- Virtual Refectory: From nobility to royalty https://emmawells.substack.com/p/virtual-refectory-from-nobility-to?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=auto_share&r=1d2s3m

I believe you can catch me in episode 4 talking to Dr Onyeka Nubia at @durhamcathedral about Norman power. Better still, you can binge the entire series on All 4 now:


Earlier this week we welcomed historian and author @Emma_J_Wells to the Charterhouse, to present the annual Thomas Sutton lecture - it was a great evening πŸ‘

CALL FOR REGISTRATIONS - to attend our 21st Symposium 'Parish & Performance' (programme: https://tinyurl.com/2p8jakhr) on 13 May in-person or virtually, please register by 25 April via one of the 3 routes outlined on our homepage: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/myparish/parishsymposia/performance/ @WarwickHistory @REED_Project

What a fantastic evening holding the Thomas Sutton lecture at @CharterhouseEC1. A huge thanks to them for being such gracious hosts, primarily @PeterAiers, and to all who attended.

Flying the flag for Coventry Charterhouse at @CharterhouseEC1 - great talk from @Emma_J_Wells about the reformation.

What a great evening @CharterhouseEC1 & thanks to @Emma_J_Wells for a stimulating talk on the Reformation & churches @PeterAiers @lizpeaceCBE https://twitter.com/peteraiers/status/1638605099894226944

On the train again… which seems to be my second home at present. But looking forward to meetings with clients, my first trustee meeting for the @TheCCT, and my lecture at @CharterhouseEC1. A busy schedule!

Queen!s College, Birmingham, the first great attempt to found a university here. At its bankruptcy, one supporter bemoaned the cost of the building: β€œHow many have been ruined, as this College has been, by masses of unremunerative bricks and mortar?”

My most recent article for the latest issue of Tudor Places magazine, on how the changing beliefs of the Tudor monarchs impacted the fabric of @York_Minster. If you haven’t yet subscribed to @TudorPlaces, I urge you to! Available both online and in print: https://tudorplaces.com

Churches & their Naughty Bits -- Coffee Morning Shot: Saint Cuddy’s Day https://emmawells.substack.com/p/coffee-morning-shot-saint-cuddys?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=auto_share&r=1d2s3m

My phone reminded me this morning that this visit to #Beverley was 4 years ago! Here’s the west front, windlass and nave in glorious sunshine.

We have a few tickets remaining for the Thomas Sutton Lecture next Wednesday!

Historian @Emma_J_Wells will present the lecture, focusing on how the Reformation β€œbroke” the English church.

For tickets, click here πŸ‘‰ http://ow.ly/HA6B50Nkgm3

Ahh, Pevsner’s pragmatism strikes again. I do love his unembellished prose on the architectural history of England. Don’t worry, Pickering, I think you’re architecturally splendid!

Recently combined a work trip with a bit of sightseeing. Can anyone guess where this is? Probably a site that needs a consideration of its potential heritage capital contribution…

I hope to meet a few of you on the March mini tour of Heaven on Earth @HoZ_Books this month:

- The Savile Club: Tuesday 14th
- @CharterhouseEC1: Wednesday 22nd
- @oxfordlitfest: Tuesday 28th (sold out)
- @OfficialBedale Archaeology & History Society: Tuesday 4th April (online)

Churches & their Naughty Bits: Holy Inappropriate Ep 6 https://emmawells.substack.com/p/holy-inappropriate-ep-6?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=auto_share&r=1d2s3m