Professor Simon Thurley CBE

Professor Thurley is a leading architectural historian, a regular broadcaster and was, for thirteen years, Chief Executive of English Heritage, the Government's principal advisor on the historic environment in England. Prior to joining English Heritage in 2002, he served as the Director of the Museum of London, the world's largest city museum. Between 1990 to 1997 he was the Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, the organisation is responsible for Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Kew Palace.

Throughout his career, Simon has been passionate about communicating English history. He is the author of more than ten books including The Building of England, his history of English architecture, and The Royal Palaces of Tudor England, the subject of his PhD taken at the Courtauld Institute. At Historic Royal Palaces, and later at English Heritage, he was responsible for major restoration projects - the most recent of which was the restoration of the Stonehenge landscape and the construction of a new museum there. At the Museum of London, he led an exciting exhibition programme, inspiring people with a passion for the city. His television projects include, most recently, Heritage! the story of the heritage movement in Britain made for BBC4.

He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. He is also a Trustee of the British Library, of the Canal and River Trust and of the Society of Court Studies, an academic study group he helped to found 25 years ago. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society. He is currently the Gresham Visiting Professor of the Built Environment.

Professor Thurley's previous lecture series are as follows:

2018/19 Art and Power

2017/18 Merchants, Money and Megalomania: Buildings in the West End of London

2016/17 History at a Turning Point: Why We Have to Rethink Conservation

2015/16 Power, Medicine, Genius and Destruction: Great London Buildings and Their Creators 1200-2000

2014/15 The Royal Palaces of England

2010/13 A History of English Architecture: 410-2013

2010 London and its Architecture 

2009 Heritage and its impact on the way we live

All of Professor Thurley's past Gresham lectures can be accessed here.

Upcoming Lectures
Recent Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Painting, Patronage and Politics under the Tudors

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
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Architecture, Images and Image-Making Under The Stuarts

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - 6:00PM
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Art and Power in the English Aristocratic House

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 - 6:00PM
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Crown, Country and the Struggle for Cultural Supremacy

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 3 April 2019 - 6:00PM
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The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 - 6:00PM
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Palace, Park and Square: St James's and the Birth of the West End

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 7 March 2018 - 6:00PM
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London Merchants and Their Residences

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 6:00PM
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House, Shop and Wardrobe in London's Merchant Community

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 6 December 2017 - 6:00PM
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From Royal Highway to Common Sewer: The River Thames and its Architecture

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Fifty Years of Conservation Areas

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 - 6:00PM
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An architect points out a possible contradiction...

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
WATCHED

William Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
WATCHED

Most Buildings We Revere Are Designed By Craftsman And Not Architects

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Unwanted Rubens Painting: Crucifixion and a Game of Pass the Parcel

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Monday, 13 June 2016
WATCHED
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Landscape with St George and the Dragon: A Fascinating Painting with a Fascinating Story

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Monday, 13 June 2016
WATCHED
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Peter Paul Rubens, An Artist Diplomat

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Monday, 13 June 2016

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