Historian and Heritage Expert

Welcome to my website. I am an historian, archaeologist and heritage champion who believes that our past informs and shapes our future, and that to make a great future for everyone we need to understand and care for our past.

Ever since I was a child, I have been investigating history; some of my earliest efforts digging in my parent’s garden discovered important Roman remains. After reading History at university and completing an MA and PhD I have devoted my career to working with history, museums, archaeology and heritage always trying to explain why history matters and make it accessible and enjoyable to everybody.

I am married to the Historian Anna Keay and have two children, Arthur and Maud; we live, as much as possible, in a medieval merchant’s house in North Norfolk.

Palaces of Revolution wins the 2023 Samuel Pepys Prize

I am proud to announce that on 9th November at a dinner in London my latest book Palaces of Revolution won the prestigious Samuel Pepys award presented bi-annually to the book that makes the greatest contribution to the understanding of Samuel Pepys, his times or his contemporaries. Previous winners have included: Hugh Aldersey-Williams for Dutch Light: Christiaan Huygens and the Making of Science in Europe, John Adamson for The Noble Revolt and Claire Tomalin for Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self.
Post Image

Latest Book

My latest book, Palaces of Revolution: Life, Death and Art at the Stuart Court is out now in hardback and available on Amazon. A sequel to my book Houses of Power: The places that shaped the Tudor World, this is a new history of the Stuart monarchy told through the palaces that they constructed and the art that they commissioned and acquired.
"an important addition to knowledge not merely for historians of art and architecture but for all people interested in the Stuart period in general… a splendid achievement, which serves several different branches of history at once, as well as those who appreciate a clear and lively literary style." Professor Ronald Hutton, Times Literary Supplement
"A Hugely impressive, readable book… a huge accomplishment" John Goodall, Country Life
"Admirably readable… lively and authoritative… Simon Thurley probably knows more about palaces of the 16th and 17th century than anyone alive" Andrew Taylor, The Times
Post Image