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

For people interested in why certain historians kept getting picked to front TV shows, I recommend this excellent research article by Erin Bell, "No-one wants to be lectured at by a woman", which takes its title from a TV executive's comment in the 90s: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/53937.pdf

Featuring my first ever attempt at a twitter 'paper' which has been a very interesting challenge to put together! I'll be exploring crusading & masculinity in the video game Dante's Inferno at about 15:50 #MAMG20 https://twitter.com/MidAgesModGames/status/1278720214646079490

#TodaysLoveliness: St Botolph's, Botolphs. Saxon chancel, nave, and tiny south porch. C13 west tower.
St Botolph is patron saint of wayfarers. Blocked arcade on N wall show where stood C13 north aisle, removed late C18 + openings filled in. @TheCCT church.

What I like to see on my walk...church open!

@RochesterCathed going STRONG on the COVID19 guidelines.

Heck yeah! Catch the fab @ClaireKennan with the lovely girls of @hack_history!

You know we all need these! See, I’m not the only person who refers to buildings as “sexy”! 😏

Since we launched our FREE #LunchtimeLecture series in May, we've had over 5,500 registrations from people wanting to take part! Find details of upcoming lectures, sign up, & enjoy free recordings of our previous talks 👉 https://bit.ly/2X8bh6p

#Heritage #Art #Learning #Church

Hope to see some of you at 1pm! 😊 Today, we are talking all saintly business!

#TodaysLoveliness: St Andrew's, Walberswick. Originally late C15 nave + chancel w/ 18-bay clerestory, 6-bay N + S aisles, W tower (commenced 1426, not quite square on plan) + S porch; only tower, porch + westernmost 4 bays of S aisle now in use, remainder in ruins.
📸Ashley Dace

Do take a look at this website. There are some crackers!

#TodaysLoveliness: Watt’s Mortuary Chapel, Compton. Built by Mary Seton Watts (2nd wife of artist GF Watts) + villagers of Compton between 1896 + 1898 in grounds to replace old churchyard closed 1895. Interior decorated 1901 in Art Nouveau style w/ complex symbolism. 📸 Wyrdlight

Video #2 is live. A guide through 5 historic churches of the East Riding of Yorkshire. Filmed between 22.06 - 29.06


@friendschurches @Ecclsoc @NatChurchTrust @ExploreChurches @HE_NorthEast @SocChurchArch @VHEY_UK @Emma_J_Wells @johnevigar @TheCCT

"Perhaps the most controversial historical saint, few among his contemporaries could have predicted that Thomas Becket, this Archbishop of Canterbury and adviser to King Henry II, was destined for sainthood," says @Emma_J_Wells http://bit.ly/ControversialSaints

🚨Don't miss out 🚨

This week Dr @Emma_J_Wells is back with us giving another FREE lecture! Join us on Thursday at 1pm as we discover how saints & pilgrimage impacted the development and evolution of churches over time.

Sign up & learn more 👉https://bit.ly/31qCnYM