Faculty of Performance, Visual Arts and Communication

Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage

Kerry Bristol

Senior Lecturer

0113 343 5280

Old Mining Building, Room 2.04

Office hours: By appointment

PhD MA BFA (Hons Art History)

Kerry’s research interests encompass the history, historiography and methodologies of British and Irish architecture and sculpture between c.1600 and c.1840 and the role(s) of country houses within the twentieth and twenty first century heritage movement.

Research Interests

My research interests encompass the history, historiography and methodologies of British and Irish architecture and sculpture between c.1600 and c.1840. My special interests are British and European Neo-Classicism, patronage and the rise of the architectural profession, women as patrons and consumers in the long eighteenth century, and country house culture between the Elizabethan era and the present day (including their role as museums in the twenty-first century). I am co-curating an exhibition on everyday life in the eighteenth century at Nostell Priory and researching a study of public sculpture in Leeds and the West Riding.


My teaching areas encompass the history, historiography and methodologies of British architecture, the Grand Tour, and country house culture and collections. I currently teach two undergraduate modules on the country house in the twentieth century, which explore why we allowed so many country house demolitions to occur, how we have turned certain houses into sites of a common history and heritage, and how we curate these for the visiting public. I also teach postgraduate modules on country house collections and eighteenth-century British architecture.

Research Projects & Grants

My current research projects are:

From House to Home: Everyday Life at Nostell in the Eighteenth Century (exhibition and accompanying publication)

The family and estate papers of the Winns at Nostell Priory (near Wakefield) were acquired recently by the West Yorkshire Archive Service as the result of an Acceptance in Lieu grant. The papers are rich in evidence of the daily lives of one eighteenth century Yorkshire gentry family – including everything from swatches of Parisian silk dress fabrics to invoices for a silver collar and chain for a pet squirrel and correspondence from Thomas Chippendale and Robert Adam  – and they reveal multiple layers of social and cultural history. As a result, they present a unique opportunity to widen our understanding of elite life through social/familial and political connections. I am working on this project with Dr Julie Day, Dr Frances Sands and the National Trust (owners of Nostell Priory).

Public Sculpture of Leeds and the West Riding, a book on Public Sculpture of West Yorkshire as part of the National Recording Project of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. The PMSA’s National Recording Project (NRP) was established to catalogue every public sculpture and monument in the British Isles and to maintain this information for public access. Research is also undertaken to produce volumes in the series Public Sculpture of Britain, published by Liverpool University Press. The country is divided into Regional Archive Centres (RACs), each of which is responsible for the survey of its local area. This information is then conveyed to the National Archive Centre in London for storage and dissemination in digital form. As part of the NRP, I have set up the Leeds and West Riding RAC. This is a major research project that will result in a publicly accessible database and a book.

External Appointments

External Examiner 2010+: MA in Historic House Studies, NUI Maynooth, Eire

External Examiner 2013+: MA in The Country House: Art, History and Literature, University of Leicester

Executive Committee Member, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 2001+

Member of Council, Church Monuments Society, 2007-2010

Co-editor and then Editor of Church Monuments, the peer-reviewed research journal of the Church Monuments Society, 2006-2011

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