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

Happy #YorkshireDay!

📸 Poster, British Railways (North Eastern Region), Yorkshire Dales by Frank Sherwin, 1952.
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This is just wonderful news. Delighted to have played a tiny part but this win goes to @SaveStonehenge and all involved. Well done indeed!

#TodaysLoveliness: St Margaret of Antioch, Hawes. Popped up t’Dale for 2nd jab and managed a few pics of exterior as door closed. Neo-Gothic structure by A B Higham erected 1851 to replace chapel of ease since 1480. Furniture of c1930 by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson of Kilburn.

Welcome to #DurhamCathedral’s prison cell. 😮 Misbehaving medieval monks would have been held inside the cell for breaking monastic law.

This hidden chamber, rarely seen by our staff or visitors, is tucked away at the back of the Sacristy, which is just off the Chapter House.

#TodaysLoveliness: St Andrew’s, Great Fencote. Built 1840s; currently up for sale. I’m tempted! Scropes had a chantry chapel in area c1546 still in use 1576. Present church built in Early English style. And had a nice little flyover as I walked through the churchyard.


Anything you’d like from the next drop that we didn’t provide in the first? We love hearing your feedback so will do our best to honour any requests 😊Pop any thoughts below! https://twitter.com/WIHStore/status/1417758138862874626

Looking for a UK-based short break departing in September? Why not join @Emma_J_Wells on our Great Cathedrals of the Southwest tour and pay memorable visits to #Salisbury, Wells and #Winchester in expert company?


#AnimalsInChurches #AnimalsInCathedrals @Countrymaned @johnevigar @pacoulmag @MorleyRA @Wuzmi @sarahjigpoon @DEmiliopics @last_of_england @ArtGuideAlex @bwthornton @cotentinologue1 @DrFrancisYoung @Emma_J_Wells @Moodyarchive

Join @AndanteTravels + I this September to tour the heart of South Western England on an architectural journey of a collection of some of our most glorious cathedrals. That’s @WellsCathedral1, @SalisburyCath and @WinCathedral (all being well, of course)!


I’ve wasted quite a lot of my life then 😏

Do you remember when you joined Twitter? I do! #MyTwitterAnniversary

I appreciate that the world I’m in (or should that be sector) is in absolute disarray (read shit show)! More to come from my end soon. I’m wishing everyone well as I continue somewhat of a social media hiatus. The below is all I can muster at present. See you on the other side.

Many of you will have just received the autobot email from @SheffieldAlumni. I'll say nothing about its content (the usual spin) but I would encourage you to take up their offer to "contact a member of the Alumni Relations team at alumni@sheffield.ac.uk"

Fancy a 3-night break away to tour the monks of Yorkshire and their monasteries? Join me as I lead a tour for @PromenadesTrav this August to uncover the impact of the Cistercians on the beautiful North Yorkshire landscape: https://www.promenadestravel.com/tours/tour/the-cistercian-impact/

📸 Alison Stamp/Antony McCallum

Next week’s @is_medieval is with the fab @MaddyPelling!

#TodaysLoveliness: St John, Mickley.
1841. For the Dalton family of Sleningford Grange. Built in Early English style with Ten Commandments and creed inside; contemporary furnishings. Open timber roof with common rafters.
Popped in when visiting a friend last week.

Join me on the 20th August for a 4-day tour of 3 great Cistercian Abbeys in Yorkshire with @PromenadesTrav! Expert tours, en-suite room, breakfast and dinner included. A perfect break for the summer! Looking forward to meeting everyone.

This will be brilliant. Speakers are @Emma_J_Wells, @Armentarius, @DrMiriamGill, @mcswrites, John Crook, Dee Dyas & John Cannon. https://twitter.com/Ecclsoc/status/1413426595491192834


Use code HEATWAVE for 10% off all items in our store. It’s valid from now to Monday night (5th July), so hop on it quick.