Category Archives: Lectures & Talks

How to ‘read’ the English Country Church

A talk delivered in two parts or a Study Day in three or four parts

A summer’s afternoon walk, the typical country church. This lecture will help you look at the architecture inside and out, the church furniture, those mysterious nooks and crannies, high and low. How and why did it all come to look this way? This will be a fascinating journey through English history unravelled before your eyes. “I can’t make you experts” says Nicholas Henderson, “but I can teach you enough to amaze your friends on that summer’s afternoon walk”.

Parts one & two: The pre-Christian to the Tudors

It is possible to ‘read’ the passage of time, of movements, cultures and peoples in the architecture and art forms evident in many of our older English country churches. This lecture takes us from the pre-Christian era, through the arrival of the Romans and onwards to the sixteenth century and the epoch changing Tudors. Simple indicators are given how to identify churches with Roman and Saxon origins. The great flowering of Romanesque and gothic architecture that followed the invasion of the Normans in the eleventh century are explained with illustrated examples. Onwards into the high Middle Ages and the tumultuous changes of the Reformation we can see the architectural and structural evidence of a period of great change.

Parts three & four: The Tudors to the present

This second part takes us on from the Tudor era into the establishment of a new Protestant England visible in church structures. Later the profound destructive changes of the seventeenth century Commonwealth era are followed by restoration and liturgical change. The largely forgotten Georgian period of church architecture is examined as church architecture that the Victorians forgot. In turn the great period of church building and gothic revival of the Victorian era and the associated innovations of the Oxford and Cambridge movements are examined in detail. Finally, there is a brief look at contemporary changes that have influenced and altered church buildings as the English country church continues to reflect the passing of the ages.

Can be offered as individual talks or as a study day. Continue reading How to ‘read’ the English Country Church

A tetralogy or four-part trilogy. Everything you wanted to know about the Tudors (1485 – 1603) but were afraid to ask!

The Powers behind the Throne
… ten Tudor Queens

A very brief introduction to a series of four talks on the Tudor dynasty
from the Powers behind the Throne
… ten Tudor Queens

Ten Tudor Queens

Collage left to right – Elizabeth of York, Mary and Margaret Tudor, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, Catherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, Mary, Elizabeth. Deadlier than the male, powers behind the thrones, formative figures in a tumultuous era whose various influences are with us to this day.

This series can be customised to include particular queens (and kings)
or delivered in four lectures.

Anne of Cleves … England’s half-forgotten Queen

Part two of Part two of a Tetralogy,
a four part series available one part at a time or as a Study Day

  • Fortitude & Fancy – Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn
  • Fulfilment & Farce – Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves
  • Folly & Finale – Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr
  • Whatever happened after Henry VIII?
Talks may be customised to suit your requirements including bespoke talks.
They are usually accompanied by Keynote or Power Point projection and sound
I am also able to deliver lectures online using Zoom or similar platforms.

If you would like more information please get in touch using the Contact form.

This England … where did it come from?

A green and pleasant land?

From Canute, to William the Conqueror, to the Tudors and everything in between.

The Anglo-Saxons and the Normans – gave us an enduring legacy, but so did the Danes and  the Church.

An often forgotten and mysterious period in what was to become ‘English’ history. The legacy lingers on visibly and even audibly in architecture, linguistics and society.

An exploration into the great upheavals in society and community that disrupted and formed the cultural feeds into what was to become England and eventually Great Britain.

Great Mysteries & Conspiracy Theories

Here are just three …

Did Neil Armstrong really walk on the moon?
The Bermuda Triangle – fact or fiction?

Ghosts … just what are they?
Can you see her on the stairs?
The ‘Brown Lady of Raynham Hall’
aka Lady Dorothy Walpole died 1726


a study in constructive destruction

The destruction of of perceived idols in religion, architecture and society is a surprisingly frequent phenomenon in history, which has shaped and formed society – sometimes for the better.