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

I just learned the most fabulous new word: Firkytoodle, a Victorian term for being amorous or “foreplay”.

Today’s loveliness: All Saints' Church, Brockhampton, by W. R. Lethaby. Dated 1901-2, commissioned by Alice Madeleine Foster in memory of parents, Eben D + Julia M Jordan. Arts & Crafts style. Tapestry flanking altar designed by Burne Jones + made by Morris & Co.

📸Roger Davies

Where does the word ‘Easter’ come from? And how does Easter relate to Jesus? @Emma_J_Wells explains http://bit.ly/EasterHistoryExplained

Intrigued about the history Easter + want to find out more: How does Easter relate to Jesus? Where does the word ‘Easter’ come from? And when did we start eating Easter eggs? Here, for @HistoryExtra, I explore the origins of this springtime celebration…

Want to be enthralled with the origins of the Easter bunny and egg? Well, give my vid a quick gander! 🐣 🥚 🐰 New ‘Medieval Myth-Busters’ episode available now!

The study will be released at noon, I gather. https://twitter.com/Tostig1066/status/1245238025581400065

#OTD: Annual festival of practical jokery, hoaxes + pranks or ‘April Fools’ Day’ or ‘All Fools’ Day’. Some have linked it to Roman renewal festival of Hilaria. Celebrated on 25 Mar in honour of Cybele (mother of the gods), people dressed up in disguises. Was 1st day after 1/

Today’s loveliness: Weeping Cross in Ripley Mkt Place, North Yorkshire.
Medieval base w/ 8 recesses said to allow faithfull to kneel in, but assuming cross stood higher, recesses more likely for bowed head. Nearby All Sts church built c1395; uncertainty surrounding relationship.

And do please subscribe, like and comment, guys! 😊