Personal profile


Professor Sandy Heslop, who joined the School in 1976,researches the art and architecture of medieval England. His overarching interest is in making and its place in human culture. Humans use objects of all kinds (natural and manufactured) for practical purposes but also to structure understanding and identities. Most of Heslop’s research and teaching has focused on analyzing the relationship between people and things, and the role of imagination in the creation and reception of artefacts.


B.A. History of Art; Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London (1971)

Key Research Interests

The relationship between art and history

The impact of environment and resources on manufacture

Art as information and rhetoric

Architecture as image

Current Research Projects

1. St Anselm's Canterbury, Worcester Chapter House and related projects.

Work in progress includes a study of St Anselm's art patronage at Canterbury, 1093-1109, and related imagery such as the paintings in Worcester Chapter House. 


2. The Medieval Parish Churches of Norwich: city, community and architecture.

Principal Investigator for collaborative research on the development of Norwich as evidenced through its community churches from c.1000 to c.1540. The project brings together documentary, architectural, archaeological, topographical and antiquarian evidence to write a history of the city's 57 parishes and the peeople who lived in them.


Key Responsibilities

Areas of Expertise

Medieval art and architecture.

Teaching Interests

  • Medieval art and architecture
  • The anthropology of art
  • Art and environments

Research supervision 

Interested in supervising research students in all aspects of medieval art and architecture.

Completions 2008-2018

Mills, Rosie Chambers. Gendered imaginations? Illustrating the high medieval psalter for men and women in England. 2008

Sillence, Matthew James. The cardinal’s seal of dignity and the representation of identities, 1378-1533. 2009

Arber, Nicholas John. The Norfolk County Gaol 1764-1887: a good and sufficient prison. 2009

Partridge, Jo. Representations and transformations of Synagoga in Latin Christendom c.1050-1250. 2010

Pinner, Rebecca. St Edmund, King and Martyr: constructing his cult in medieval East Anglia. 2010

Summers, Dominic John. Norfolk Church Towers of the Later Middle Ages. 2011

Lunnon, Helen. Norfolk Church Porches. 2012

Gomolka, Agata. Petrified Passions: bodily rhetoric in architectural sculpture c.1100-c.1270. 2016

Trend, Nicholas. Wighton, the Church, the Village and its People, 1400-1500. 2017

De Beer, Lloyd. Reassessing English Alabaster Carving: medieval sculpture in its contexts. 2018


Examples of modules taught

  • Medieval Bodies

External positions

President, British Archaeological Association

Oct 2016Oct 2019