Created especially for Professor Simon Thurley, the Visiting Professorship of the Built Environment was created in 2009 for Simon Thurley's ongoing lectures on the history of English architecture.

Current 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 Simon Thurley continues his series on the Built Environment in the 2015/16 academic year entitled 'Power, Medicine, Genius and Destruction: Great London Buildings and their Creators, 1200 to 2000'.

Professor Thurley's previous lecture series are as follows:

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.

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All Visiting Professor of the Built Environment Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Birth of Modern Theatreland: Covent Garden and the Two Theatres Royal

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

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

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

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

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 - 6:00PM
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The Value of Heritage and the Heritage of Value

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 8 March 2017 - 6:00PM
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Perfection or Pastiche? New Buildings in Old Places

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 February 2017 - 6:00PM
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Tough Choices: Heritage or Housing?

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 7 December 2016 - 6:00PM
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Saving the Twentieth Century

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 2 November 2016 - 6:00PM
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Rubens and London

Simon Thurley CBE
Monday, 13 June 2016 - 1:00PM
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The Five Catastrophes That Made London

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 - 6:00PM
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Sir Christopher Wren: Buildings, Place and Genius

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 6:00PM
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Set Square and Stethoscope: The Architecture of London's Medical Profession

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 9 March 2016 - 6:00PM
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Envy of Kings: The Guildhall of London and the Power of the Medieval Corporation

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 - 6:00PM
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The Last Stuarts and the Death of the Royal Powerhouse

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 3 June 2015 - 6:00PM
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Restoration and Reaction: Palaces of the Restoration

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 - 6:00PM
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Revolutionary State? Royal Palaces in Cromwell's England

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 - 6:00PM
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Cultural Revolution: Palaces of the Early Stuart Kings

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 8 October 2014 - 6:00PM
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Magnificence: A Tale of Two Henrys

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 4 June 2014 - 6:00PM
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Playing Catch-up: Palaces from the Hundred Years' War to the Wars of the Roses

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 - 6:00PM
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War Halls: Royal Houses from the Saxons to the Hundred Years' War

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 6:00PM
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The Building of England: Retrospect and Prospect 410 AD to 2000

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 16 October 2013 - 6:00PM
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Coming to Terms with Modern Times: English architecture in the post-war era

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 6 March 2013 - 6:00PM
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Forwards and Backwards: Architecture in inter-war England

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 6 February 2013 - 6:00PM
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English Architecture and the First World War

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 - 6:00PM
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Building the Victorian City: Splendour and Squalor

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 - 6:00PM
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On Top of the World, 1830 to 1914

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 7 March 2012 - 6:00PM
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Engine House, 1760 to 1830

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 8 February 2012 - 6:00PM
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The Rise of Consensus, 1650 to 1760

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 2 November 2011 - 6:00PM
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The End of the Old World Order, 1530 to 1650

Simon Thurley CBE
Monday, 10 October 2011 - 6:00PM
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How the Middle Ages were Built: Coming of Age, 1408-1530

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 - 6:00PM
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How the Middle Ages were Built: Exuberance to Crisis, 1300-1408

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 - 6:00PM
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A New Jerusalem: Reaching for Heaven, 1130-1300

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 1 December 2010 - 12:00AM
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Making England: The Shadow of Rome, 410-1130

Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 3 November 2010 - 12:00AM
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Town and Crown: Why London never became an imperial capital

Simon Thurley CBE
Thursday, 11 March 2010 - 12:00AM
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The Politics of Architecture in Tudor and Stuart London

Simon Thurley CBE
Thursday, 11 February 2010 - 12:00AM
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From boom to bust: The politics of heritage 1997 to 2009

Simon Thurley CBE
Thursday, 10 December 2009 - 12:00AM
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The birth of heritage and the fabrication of history

Simon Thurley CBE
Thursday, 22 October 2009 - 12:00AM
All Visiting Professor of the Built Environment Series

Merchants, Money and Megalomania and Buildings in the West End of London

History at a Turning Point: Why We Have To Re-Think Conservation

Power, Medicine, Genius and Destruction: Great London Buildings and their Creators, 1200 to 2000

The Royal Palaces of England

A History of English Architecture: 410 - 2013