Professor Christopher Norton
Professor of History of Art




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



Christopher Norton's research interests cover a wide range of topics relating to ecclesiastical art and architecture in England and France from the seventh century to the sixteenth, but with a particular focus on the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. Initially focussing on medieval decorated pavements, he has published major studies on English and French material. He has also published widely on the art and architecture of the monastic orders (notably the Benedictines, Cistercians and Dominicans), including manuscripts, panel paintings, sculpture and architecture. In recent years he has been concentrating on the extremely rich medieval heritage of Yorkshire and Northern Britain, notably York Minster. His research on the St William window in the Minster (one of the largest stained glass windows in Europe, dating to c. 1415) made possible a re-organisation of the panels during the recent renovation so as to return the window to its original state. He is now involved in the renovation of the famous east window of the Minster, and is currently working on an English Heritage funded project to reconstruct the damaged eleventh and twelfth century Minster.

Research group(s)


  • English Heritage Grant for The Cathedral of Archbishop Roger of Pont l'Eveque
    In 2005 Christopher was awarded a £105,385 grant as primary investigator for a major research project to 2013 on the Pont l'Eveque Cathedral. 



  • Helen Birkett, 'The hagiographical works of Jocelin of Furness: text and context' (Medieval Studies, co-supervised by Dr J. Wogan-Browne) -
  • Gotz Echtenacher, 'Aesthetic aspects of medieval stone dressing in England: the twelfth-century crypt of York Minster'
  • Jaqueline Hall, 'Croxden Abbey: buildings and community' (Medieval Studies, co-supervised by Dr J. Grenville)
  • Peter Martin, 'The European stained glass trade, with Special Reference to the trade between the Rhineland and the United Kingdom 1820-1835' (jointly supervised with Sarah Brown) 

  • Harry Stirrup, 'Colour, Paint And Gold: The Materiality of English Manuscript Illumination in the Twelfth Century' (jointly supervised with Jane Hawkes)
  • Abigail Wheatley, 'The idea of the castle in medieval England' (Medieval Studies, co-supervised by Prof. F Riddy)


In Progress

  • Karen Brett, 'Spitting on an Angel, Trampling a Saint: Reading the Medieval English Pavement'
  • Joanne Dillon, 'The Lost Dimension: Medieval Window Lead – A Study of Sources, Craft and Conservation' (jointly supervised with Sarah Brown) 

  • Anya Heilpern, 'The painted glass of Winchester Cathedral: c.1495-c.1528' (jointly supervised with Sarah Brown) 

  • David Reid, 'The history of the re-used twelfth-century glass of York Minster' (jointly supervised with Tim Ayers) 



Selected publications


  • Cistercian Art and Architecture in the British Isles (with W.D. Park, eds) (Cambridge University Press, 1986)
  • Dominican Painting in East Anglia: The Thornham Parva Retable and the musée de Cluny Frontal (with W.D. Park and P. Binski) (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1987)
  • Carreaux de pavement du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance (Paris: Musée Carnavalet, 1992)
  • Archbishop Thomas of Bayeux and the Norman Cathedral at York (Borthwick Institute: York, 2001)
  • St William of York (Woodbridge, 2006)
  • Trondheim Cathedral in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (with S. Harrison) (Trondheim, 2012).

Chapters in Books

  • 'Archbishop Eystein, King Magnus and the Copenhagen Psalter- A New Hypothesis', in K. Bjørlykke et al., eds, Eystein Erlendsson - Erkebiskop, politiker og kirkebygger (Trondheim: 2013)
  • 'Lastingham and the architecture of the Benedictine revival in Northumbria' (with S. Harrison), in ed. David Bates Anglo-Norman Studies XXXIV: Proceeedings of the Battle Conference 2011. (Anglo-Norman Studies: The Boydell Press, 2012) p. 63-104.
  • 'Preface to the Paperback Edition', (with D. Park), in C. Norton and D. Park, eds, Cistercian Art and Architecture in the British Isles (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Nov 2011). Revised reprint of 1986 edition.
  • 'Richard Scrope and York Minister' in P.J.P. Goldberg, ed, Richard Scrope, Archbishop, Rebel, Martyr. (Shaun Tyas, 2007) pp. 138-213.


  • 'Liber specialis et preciosus: a late twelfth-century illuminated Life of St Cuthbert', in P. Binski and W. Noel, eds, New Offerings, Ancient Treasures: Studies in Medieval Art for George Henderson (Sutton: Stroud, 2001), 210-34.



  • The Age of Cathedrals: Medieval Architecture in England, 1050-1300
  • Church, College and Castle c.1250-1450
  • European Art of the High Middle Ages
  • The English Country House


  • Monastic Patronage of the Arts
  • Art and Imagery in York Minster

External activities

Christopher Norton

Contact details

Prof. Christopher Norton
Professor of History of Art
Department of History of Art
Room K/112

Tel: 01904 323911
Fax: 01904 323918