One of my traditional montage shots, Nantwich (Cheshire)

One of my traditional sedilia montage shots, Nantwich (Cheshire)

I think that I’m an art historian who specialises in medieval parish church architecture, particularly the explosion of creativity and artistic production that happened in early-fourteenth-century England. I’m generally fascinated by ecclesiastical architecture, basically because you don’t usually have to pay to see it. I’m also deeply engaged, in a sort of T. S. Eliot way, by Anglo-Catholic ritual and history, so am not afraid to get my right knee dirty on occasion. I’ve made a huge database (some 1,300 entries) on medieval sedilia in England for my PhD thesis, and am looking to start a similar research project on the English parish church chancel, if any institution believes me that there’s more to English parish churches than post-communion coffee and biscuits.

An out-take from Bolton Abbey (West Yorkshire)

An out-take from Bolton Abbey (West Yorkshire)

I’m a pretty rubbish medievalist, because I think Victorian stained glass is often of aesthetic merit, and there was one occasion that I said something complimentary about a Baroque church. I think it’s very important for academia and the humanities to engage with a larger public, and try and bring some sense of the intellectual process of irreverent discussion and debate that goes into the production of our footnoted and peer-review journal articles. This blog was started when I was undertaking my PhD at The Courtauld Institute of Art on sedilia – the stone seats for the priest, deacon and subdeacon often found in English medieval churches. It has been a way to try out various ideas to relate my research and interests to a wide audience: some of which, especially the wonky arches of Great Mistakes in English Medieval Architecture, have been surprisingly successful.

I currently don’t have an academic position at the moment, so gizzajob, mate.

If reading most of the cobblers I’ve written over the past few years doesn’t fill you with dismay that they’ll give a PhD to anyone these days, you can follow me on Twitter, or send me an email.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. zero/0

    i really like your page & eye for detail.when i get into some of these old churches it takes awhile for me to come out.

  2. Keith Murray

    Thank you. I don’t know what else a stranger who thoroughly enjoys your wit, perspective and enthusiasm can say, except you offer a tonic against the stale draughts of other writers on English and European church architecture.

    Well, okay. Perhaps a stranger, as an American student of such buildings and their histories, also can say he respects you and wishes you the success you obviously deserve, however you define it for yourself.


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