I am currently a freelance art and architectural historian specialising in medieval England. Since finishing my PhD, I have continued to lecture widely on medieval architecture, especially the academically-sidelined topic of the English parish church, and have undertaken freelance research projects for English Heritage, regarding new Battle Abbey site interpretation; and the Burrell Collection, on their architectural sculpture. I am a board member, editor and fieldwork of the charitable trust the Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. I also run the social media accounts and websites for CRSBI and the British Archaeological Association, where I am also a council member.
My thesis was on sedilia, the seats for the priest, deacon and subdeacon. In English churches, sedilia frequently take the form of three stone niches built into the south wall by an altar, surmounted by arches and separated by shafts. A full survey of the corpus of sedilia in England and Wales (c.1,300 objects) has allowed me to give a narrative of their origins, spread, and development as a site of display. This database was constructed by crowd-sourcing images from the Internet, some sent to me.
I had posted a “list of missing sedilia” in various places during my PhD. If you wish to continue to contributing to the sedilia corpus, I will attempt to maintain this list of sedilia I completely lack images of.
The Courtauld Institute of Art does not share copies of its theses on the British Library EThOS service. Therefore you can download my thesis here:
- Part 1 (the text)
- Part 2 (the complete sedilia handlist of England and Wales)
- Part 3 (the illustrations)
My future research will consider the larger questions raised by my thesis by looking at the English parish church chancel as a genre, and how initial choices in form became essential attributes of a national style. I have numerous academic publications, have lectured widely, and have taught courses at undergraduate (BA1, BA2) and masters level at The Courtauld Institute of Art.
You can read my other dissertations, papers and articles below.
- The Courtauld Institute of Art: October 2011 – July 2015
Ph.D. in the History of Art
Sedilia in Medieval England (Supervised by Prof. Joanna Cannon and Prof. David Park), AHRC full award for three years, Courtauld scholarship awarded Oct 2015.Viva by Prof. Richard Fawcett (University of St Andrews) and Dr Zoë Opačić (Birkbeck College, University of London), 24th Feb 2015.
- The Courtauld Institute of Art: October 2010 – June 2011
MA in the History of Art
- Course: Artists and Friars: The Renewal of Painting in Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries (Prof. Cannon) – distinction.
- Dissertation: The Harington Tomb in Cartmel Priory: Making, Agency and Audience (Supervised by Prof. Cannon and Prof. Paul Crossley) – distinction.
- The University of Manchester: September 2006 – June 2009
BA Art History and Visual Studies – First Class
- Dissertation: The Fourteenth Century Choir Stalls of Lancaster Priory (since published, see below)
- Outstanding Academic Achievement Award 2008/9 – Awarded to top 30 performing graduands of the University. £1,000 prize.
- Roger Jones Memorial Prize for Academic Excellence 2007/8 – £200 prize.
- Book chapter: “From hole-in-the-wall to heavenly mansions: The microarchitectural development of sedilia in thirteenth-century England”, Microarchitecture et figure du bâti: l’échelle à l’épreuve de la matière (Paris: Institut national d’histoire de l’art, 2018), 151-159, forthcoming.
- Book chapter: “Materiality and Reflexivity between Sedilia and Choir Stalls in Medieval England” in Choir Stalls and their Workshops: Proceedings of the Misericordia International Colloquium 2016, eds Willy Piron and Anja Seliger (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017), 144-165.
- Journal article: “The Englishness of English Sedilia” British Art Studies 6, Summer 2017 – open access.
- Book chapter: “Competing for dextra cornu magnum altaris: funerary monuments and liturgical seating in English churches” in Fifty Years after Panofsky’s Tomb Sculpture , ed. Ann Adams and Jessica Barker (London: Courtauld Books Online, 2016) – open access.
- Journal article: “‘Sedilia in choro sunt fracta’: The Medieval Nomenclature of seating in churches” Journal of the British Archaeological Association 168, 2015.
- Journal article: “The Fourteenth-Century Choir Stalls of Lancaster Priory“ CeNtre WoRdS 8 (Lancaster, Lancaster University Centre for North-West Regional Studies, 2009)
- Romanesque and the Past, eds. John McNeill and Richard Plant, Burlington Magazine, August 2017.
- The Howards and the Tudors: Studies in Science and Heritage, ed. Phillip Lindley, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 2018.
- “Gothic on Trial” – Review of Stephen Murray’s Plotting Gothic and Jonathan Foyle’s Lincoln Cathedral. Marginalia, A Los Angeles Review of Books channel, August 1 2016.
- Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough, Charles O’Brien and Nikolaus Pevsner, immediations: The Courtauld’s Postgraduate Research Journal Vol. 3 No. 3, 2014.
- “Church crawling”: column in True Principles: The Journal of the Pugin Society 5:2 (Summer 2017), pp. 106-110.
Unpublished conference papers (future articles)
- “Crossing the threshold: The layperson’s experience in the parish church chancel”, Pilgrimage: Location and Imagination – Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust annual conference, Wolfson College, Cambridge, 16 April 2016.
- “Modes of modo et forma in the fourteenth-century English Parish Church” , A day seminar in celebration of the work of Dr Richard K. Morris, The Courtauld Institute of Art (organised by the British Archaeological Association), 20 February 2016.
Watch me give this paper on YouTube!
- “Bums on seats: Between material and documentary evidence in the study of parish church sedilia” “Flaws” London Medieval Graduate Network conference 2014, UCL, 29th May 2014.
- “The Judgement on the Harington Tomb at Cartmel Priory” Courtauld 18th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2 Feb 2013.
- Towards an Art History of the Parish Church, 1200-1399, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 2 – 3 June 2017 (jointly with Meg Bernstein, University of California Los Angeles, Courtauld institutional Kress Fellow 2015-17)
General public talks and seminars
- “The English Parish Church Chancel as Architectural Genre”, British Archaeological Association, Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House, Piccadilly, 6 December 2017
Watch me give this paper on YouTube!
- “Architecture & Ritual: the English Parish Church Chancel” Morley Medieval Society, Morley College, Lambeth, 20 November 2015.
- “Sedilia in English churches: Development of a genre through function and form” Microarchitecture and Miniaturized Representations of Buildings: Different Scales for Different Materials?, Paris, Institut national d’histoire de l’art, 8-10 December 2014.
Watch me give this paper on Canal-U.tv!
- “Real Priests sit on stone: Witnessing sedilia in England’s churches” Material Witness Valedictorial Event, 8 July 2014.
- “Sedilia in English Churches: The development of an idea” History of Art Lecture series, Warburg Institute. 9 June 2014.
- “Sedilia in English Churches” Lunchtime Research Seminar, Mellon Centre for British Art, London. 21 Feb 2014.
- “The Eleanor Crosses: Heralding a new style” – London Cultural Connections King’s College London, 16 Oct 2012. Awarded first prize: £100
Other academic activity
- Council member, 2015- and co-Honorary Study Days Organiser, 2016-, British Archaeological Association.
- Editor and website/social media officer, 2016-, The Corpus of Romanesque sculpture of Britain and Ireland.
- MA Methodologies Teaching Assistant, 2015 and Associate Lecturer (course: Westminster Abbey) and BA2 Teaching assistant, 2016-17, The Courtauld Institute of Art.
- Research Forum Administrative Assistant, Communications (0.6 FTE), Jan 2016 – July 2017, The Courtauld Institute of Art.
- Member of Courtauld Postgraduate Advisory Group (PAG), 2012-15.
- Editor of Courtauld Critics of exhibition reviews on the Research Forum blog, 2012-5.
- Founding designer of MedievalArtResearch.com
- Regular contributor to The Courtauld Research Forum The Courtauld Research Forum blog, 2012-5.
- Becoming a Public Intellectual, Open University programme, CHASE initiative, 2013/4. Participant.
- Material Witness, University of Kent programme, CHASE initiative 2013/4, 2014/5. Participant