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Gresham College: Prof. Simon Thurley – Great Tudor and Stuart Houses: #3/4 – Royal Restoration: Estates of the Duke of Monmouth


17March 2021

Another good  lecture series as Prof Thurley explores the intersection of architecture and power.

About this series

In this four-part series Visiting Professor and Gresham Provost Simon Thurley sets out new research and perspectives on the great houses and estates of some of the leading Tudor and Stuart Aristocratic dynasties. 

He reveals how land and architecture were integral to the identity, ambitions and power-bases of the great families who ruled England for two centuries.

About this lecture

Charles II‘s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, became one of the most influential and powerful men at the Restoration court. He married a Scottish heiress, Anne Scott, and together they became leaders of fashion and taste. 

Recent researches have revealed that the Duke and Duchess were major patrons of architecture, leaving some important, but little known, buildings to posterity.

Professor Simon Thurley

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.

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