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JSC in the library: photo Lara Platman (2009)

Welcome to the website of James Stevens Curl


James Stevens Curl has held Chairs at three universities. An Honorary Doctorate of Arts was conferred on him by De Montfort University, Leicester in July 2014 'in recognition of a distinctive contribution to the study of architectural history'. In 2017 he was awarded the President's Medal of the British Academy for 'outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences' in his wider study of the History of Architecture in Britain and Ireland.

His PhD was conferred by the University of London on completion of his pioneering study of the life and works of the architect, Henry Roberts (1803-76). In 1991-2 and 2002 he was Visiting Fellow at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, when he researched and wrote up his study of the impact of Edward Young’s Night Thoughts on the beginnings of the Garden-Cemetery Movement, and also worked on studies of 18th-and19th-century British architecture which resulted in the publication of two major books in 2007 and 2011. He has established an international reputation for scholarship, penetrating criticisms, lucidity of style, and thorough investigations in little-known fields of research.



Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism with a Prolegomenon by Timothy Brittain-Catlin was published by Oxford University Press in hardback, pp 551 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, August 2018), RRP £45-00, ISBN 978-0-19-875369-8.

January 2016

This New Year has already seen the publication of the paperback The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture (3rd edition, March 2015) with contributions on Landscape by Dr Susan Wilson. RRP £11.99, ISBN: 978-0-19-967499-2.


The year saw two significant appointments for JSC:

Patron of The Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship Trust, May 2015;

Visiting Professor of Architecture at the Faculty of Art, Design, & Built Environment, University of Ulster, from April 2015 for a four-year period.


In addition JSC published two books:

His first eBook The Victorian Celebration of Death: An Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Thanatopsis, 100 colour photos, map (London: Heritage EBooks, September 2015), RRP: £14.99, ISBN 978-1-908619-55-6; and

The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture in hardback, 1017 pp., many hand-drawn illustrations by JSC, with contributions on Landscape by Dr Susan Wilson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2015), RRP £45-00, ISBN 978-0-19-967498-5. This became available in paperback in 2016 ISBN 978-0-19-967499-2.


JSC also made contributions to two publications:

The Beresford Obelisk: A Legacy in Stone in the Roe Valley edited by Evelyn Mullally (Belfast: The Follies Trust 2015) 45-54. ISBN 978-0-9566907-3-9; and

‘London’s Derrie: the background to the building and financing of the walls’ in Walls 400: Studies to Mark the 400th Anniversary of the Founding of the Walls of Londonderry edited by Brian G. Scott (Londonderry: The Guildhall Press 2015) 13-35. ISBN 978-1-906271-99-2.


JSC has also published numerous letters and book reviews in: The Times; Oxford Reference; The Times Higher Education; Perspective; and Mausolus, referenced in ‘Complete List of JSC Publications'.

This website:

- has been created to draw attention to many publications, bookable lectures, consultancy, and architectural/graphic works available by JSC to buy, book, or commission. The website is divided into several categories, accessed by clicking on the section titles below or from the website buttons above:

  • About Me: biographical information;

  • Publications: books for sale, written, edited, or containing contributions by JSC. Views are provided of front covers, title-pages, lists of contents, and, in some cases, illustrations; synopses are given; and selections from reviews may be read. Further insights to JSC’s literary oeuvre can also be gleaned in the bibliographical references of this section;

  • Lectures: currently, JSC has a programme of 14 bookable lectures on aspects of: architectural history; garden design; the Londonderry Plantation (now more than 400 years old); Freemasonry and the Garden; the works of selected architects; and various stylistic Revivals. Synopses of each are presented and enquiries/bookings can be made directly online;

  • Consultancy: in addition to his academic and literary careers, JSC has practised architecture, and his advice has frequently been sought in matters concerning historic buildings and the conservation of the built environment. He continues to accept commissions for architectural consultancy, reports on architectural quality and character, and has designed a number of funerary monuments, a selection of which is shown in this section;

  • Architecture & Gallery: examples are given of JSC’s designs (architectural and other), book- illustrations, line-drawings, watercolours, etc.

  • Contact: JSC may be contacted by email, telephone, or snail-mail.