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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'.

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.



March 2015:

New Book by JSC with contributions on Landscape by Dr Susan Wilson was published in March 2015 as The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture in hardback, 1017 pp., many hand-drawn illustrations by JSC, RRP £45-00, ISBN 978-0-19-967498-5.

New JSC Reviews

Perspective: The Journal of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects xxiii/6 (Nov./Dec. 2014) 94. ISSN 0967-2176. On An Archaeological Survey of County Fermanagh. Vol. 1 Parts 1 &2 Brian G Scott General Editor (Belfast 2014)

THE (Times Higher Education) 2179 (20-26 November 2014) 51. ISSN 0049-3929. On An Intelligent Tory: Henry Worms, Lord Pirbright (1840-1903) by James Grimshaw (Hove 2014)

THE (Times Higher Education) 2183 (18-31 December 2014) 51. ISSN 0049-3929. On Gothic Wonder: Art, Artifice, and the Decorated Style, 1290-1350 by Paul Binski (New Haven & London 2014), and on Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900-1941 by John C.G. Röhl (Cambridge 2014)

Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Newsletter 114 (Winter/Spring 2015) 17-18. On Bleak Houses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture by Timothy Brittain-Catlin (Cambridge MA & London 2014)

Perspective: The Journal of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects xxiv/2 (March/April 2015) 67. ISSN 0967-2176. On George Frederick Bodley and the Later Gothic Revival in Britain and America  by Michael Hall  (New Haven & London 2014) )

JSC has a new article published ‘The Aftermath of 1587: A Flemish Connection’ in Peterhouse Annual Record 2007/2008 (Cambridge: The Master & Fellows of Peterhouse 2014) 4-20.

January 2015

JSC appointed Historic Buildings Consultant to Adam Architecture of Winchester and London.

July 2014:

JSC awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts by De Montfort University, Leicester, 'for his distinctive contribution to the study of Architectural History' and for making 'outstanding contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation and the region'.

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 was appointed Historic Buildings Consultant to Adam Architecture of Winchester and London in January 2015. 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.