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.