Provost of Gresham College and Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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.


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
royal palaces

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