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Professor Tim Ayers
Professor of History of Art




BA (Oxford); MA, PhD (London), FSA

Tim Ayers is a Professor in the History of Art, and a member of the Centre for Medieval Studies.

His research has focused upon British art and architecture of the later middle ages. He has published studies on the stained glass of Merton College, Oxford (2013) and Wells Cathedral (2004). He also edited the volume The History of British Art, 600-1600 (2008), in a series from Tate Britain and the Yale Center for British Art.

He is currently working on St Stephen’s Chapel in the Palace of Westminster, running and contributing to two major research projects, one funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the other by the AHRC.

Tim is also Vice-President of the International Corpus Vitrearum project, which is dedicated to the publication of medieval and later stained glass.

Departmental roles

Director of the Stained Glass Studies Research Cluster



Tim has published on stained glass, sculpture and architecture in England between the thirteenth century and the end of the middle ages. Current stained glass research interests include issues of word and image in monastic contexts, the chemical analysis of medieval window glass and the international glass trade. Other interests include facades and their decoration, and art in the medieval city. 

With colleagues in the History Department, and partners at the Palace of Westminster and the History of Parliament Trust, Tim is involved as Co-Investigator in a three-year project on the history and art history of St Stephen's Chapel in the Palace of Westminster between the 13th and 20th century:

He is also editing a full critical edition and translation of the medieval fabric accounts for the chapel.

Research group(s)


Tim has been awarded £118,800 by the Leverhulme Trust to publish an edition of the fabric accounts for St Stephen’s Chapel in the Palace of Westminster (2013-14).

He is a Co-Investigator on ‘St. Stephen's Chapel, Westminster: Visual and Political Culture, 1292-1941’, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (£976,296, October 2013 to September 2016).


In Progress

  • Izzy Hampton, 'Lords of the North? Aristocratic identities in fourteenth century art and architecture'
  • James Hillson, 'St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster: Architecture and Decoration in the Courts of Henry III and the three Edwards (1231-1363)'
  • Jessica Knowles, ‘The Church and Communities of All Saints North Street’ (jointly supervised with Sarah Rees Jones)
  • Philippa Turner, 'Image and Devotion in Late Medieval English Cathedrals'
  • Heather Gilderdale-Scott, 'The Painted Glass of Great Malvern Priory, Worcs., c.1440-1500, 2008 (jointly supervised with Paul Crossley, Courtauld Institute of Art)


  • Jasmine Allen, 'Stained Glassworlds: Stained Glass and the International Exhibitions, c.1851-1900' (jointly supervised with Jason Edwards)
  • Zoe Dumelow, 'Visual Representations of Biblical Dreams in England, c.1200-1350' (jointly supervised with Jeanne Nuechterlein)      
  • Heather Gilderdale-Scott, 'The Painted Glass of Great Malvern Priory, Worcs., c.1440-1500, 2008 (jointly supervised with Paul Crossley, Courtauld Institute of Art)
  • Alison James, 'Gentry Masculinity in 15th-century Yorkshire (jointly supervised with Jeremy Goldberg)
  • Eleanor McCullough, 'Praying the Passion: Laypeople's Participation in the Medieval Liturgy and Devotion' (jointly supervised with Jocelyn Wogan-Browne)
  • Chloe Morgan, 'Brynge Hym into my Chapelle: Sacred Space in Middle English Romance', 2010 (jointly supervised with Nicola McDonald)
  • David Reid, 'The history of the re-used twelfth-century glass of York Minster', 2014



Selected publications


  • The Medieval Stained Glass of Merton College, Oxford, Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) Great Britain, VI, 2 vols. (Oxford: British Academy, 2013)
  • Ed. and contrib., The History of British Art, 600-1600 (London: Tate Publishing, 2008)
  • The Medieval Stained Glass of Wells Cathedral, Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi (CVMA) Great Britain, IV, 2 vols. (Oxford: British Academy, 2004)
  • Co-ed. (with T. Tatton-Brown), Medieval Art and Architecture at Rochester, British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions (2002) (Leeds: Maney, 2005)
  • Ed. and contrib., The West Front of Salisbury Cathedral, A History and Study in Conservation (Chichester: Phillimore Press, 2000)


  • Collegiate Identity and the Art of Lancastrian Reform: The Stained Glass of Merton College, Oxford in the Early Fifteenth Century’, in Image, Memory and Devotion: Liber Amicorum Paul Crossley, ed. Z. Opacic and A. Timmermann (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), pp. 239-53
  • 'Remaking the Rayonnant Interior: The Choir of Merton College Chapel, Oxford', in The Year 1300 and the Creation of a New European Architecture, ed. A. Gajewski and Z. Opacic, Architectura Medii Aevi, I (Turnhout: Brepols), 2008, pp. 123-31
  • 'Vitraux, retables et English Decorated Style, La Verrière orientale de l'église abbatiale de Dorchester, comté d'Oxford', in Représentations architecturales dans les vitraux, Colloque international, Bruxelles, Palais des Académies, 22-27 août 2002, Dossier de la commission royale des monuments, sites et fouilles, 9 (Brussels, 2002), pp. 105-16.



  • Art in the City: Medieval York
  • Art, Architecture and Learning, 1100-1400
  • European Art of the High Middle Ages, 1050–1250
  • Medievalisms: Constructing the Medieval in Western Art and Architecture, c.1800–1900
  • Stained Glass in the Great Church, 1150-1450
  • Seeing and Being Seen: English Art in the 14th Century


  • Monastic Patronage of the Arts, 1080-1220
  • Painting on Light: Stained Glass in the Medieval Tradition

External activities


Contact details

Professor Tim Ayers
Department of History of Art

Tel: 01904 323919
Fax: 01904 323427

Office hours: Thursdays, 15.00-17.00 (except 28 April, 5 May). Please email to make an appointment.