Jonathan Foyle is an architectural historian, broadcaster and advocate for heritage sites. He is also an artist.


Foyle grew up in Market Deeping in Lincolnshire and attended The Deepings School.[1] Foyle has an M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art where he trained as an architect, he worked for a year surveying the architectural details and structure of Canterbury Cathedral. He then became Curator of Historic Buildings for Historic Royal Palaces for eight years. During this time Foyle produced a thesis on the early history of Hampton Court and received a doctorate from the University of Reading in 2002. He also has an honorary degree in Conservation and Restoration from the University of Lincoln.


Honorary degree in Conservation and Restoration (2011) University of Lincoln
Ph.D Archaeology, University of Reading (2002) (Won British Academy Reckitt Prize )
Dipl.Arch (Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture) Canterbury School of Architecture (1995)
M.A. History of Art 1560–1660 Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (1993)
B.A. (Hons) 2:1 Architecture Canterbury School of Architecture (1992)
National Diploma in Art and Design Lincoln College of Art (1989)


Foyle has written many scholarly papers and additionally Foyle has written for a number of newspapers and popular magazines.

He is perhaps best known as a passionate communicator on history. He has taught and lectured widely in Britain and around the world and has appeared and presented in many television broadcasts.

Since 2002, he has presented films for Channel 4, the BBC, the History Channel, ITN, Lion and Discovery Channels. His 2009 series on Henry VIII as art patron garnered praise. In 2010, Climbing Great Buildings captured his largest audience yet. He delights in working without a net, whether by dangling from an immense height in order to comment on the iron tracery of St. Pancras Station or by improvising a pencil sketch of the pyramids' surroundings in Egypt.

In 2007 Foyle accepted the position of Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain, the UK arm of a global charity, which has achieved great success in securing imperiled architectural sites for future generations.



  • Inside Out (Feb. 2010) Reporter, Gloucestershire’s Pyramids
  • The One Show (2009) Reporter on historic architecture


  • Climbing Great Buildings (2010) 15-part series, along with champion climber Lucy Creamer
  • The People’s Museum (2006) Daytime series Presenter
  • History Mysteries (2005) Daytime series Co-presenter
  • Meet The Ancestors: The Lost Palace Of Hampton Court (2002) Prime-time series Specialist


  • People’s Palaces: The Golden Age Of Civic Architecture (2010) 2 x 1 hour, Presenter
  • Henry VIII: Patron Or Plunderer? (2009) 2 x 1 hour,Presenter

Channel 4

  • Time Team Special: Henry VIII's Lost Palaces (2009) Specialist Contributor
  • Time Team Special: The Arcadian Garden (2007) Specialist Contributor
  • Time Team Special: The Royal Palaces: Buckingham Palace (2006) Specialist Contributor
  • Time Team (2003– ) Specialist Contributor Includes Kew, Syon, Greenwich, Queensborough Castle, Hunstrete, Chenies Manor

History channel US

  • Lost Worlds: The Pyramids (2008) Prime-time series, Investigator
  • Lost Worlds: The Sphinx (2008) Prime-time series, Investigator
  • Lost Worlds: The Vikings (2007) Prime-time series Investigator
  • Lost Worlds: Henry VIII (2007) Prime-time series Investigator


  • County Secrets (2008) 10-part series, Presenter

History channel UK

  • Hidden House History (2006) Prime-time series, Co-presenter

Professional History

2007– Chief Executive, World Monuments Fund Britain 2003-7 Freelance historian, teacher, presenter, consultant 1996–2003 Curator of Historic Buildings, Hampton Court and Kew Palaces, Historic Royal Palaces 1995-6 Assistant to the Surveyor of the Fabric, Canterbury Cathedral


  • The Architecture of Canterbury Cathedral Scala (2012)
  • ‘Conservation areas in China: the case of the Juanqinzhai in Beijing’ with Henry Tzu-Ng

English Heritage Conservation Bulletin 62 (2009)

  • ‘Some examples of external colouration on English brick buildings, c. 1500–1650’

Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles ‘Couleurs de l'architecture’(2002)

  • 'A Reconstruction of Thomas Wolsey's Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace'

Architectural History Vol 45 (2002) pp. 128–58

Illustrations for:

  • ‘Interpretations of the Rebuilding of Canterbury Cathedral, 1174–1186: Archaeological and Historical Evidence’

Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1997, Peter Draper

See also


External links