Personal profile


James Hillson is an architectural historian who studies medieval things, specifically the art and architecture of northwestern Europe between 1000 and 1600. His research focuses on Gothic architecture in England, France and Germany, with a particular emphasis on the roles of drawing, language and memory in communicating architectural designs over long distances.

James completed his PhD in the Department of History of Art at the University of York in 2015 on the topic of St Stephen’s Chapel at the Palace of Westminster. In 2016 he was appointed to a Research Fellowship by Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge, during which he embarked on a new project on the practical processes behind architectural copying and international artistic exchange in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. From 2018-2021 he was a postdoctoral researcher on the Tracing the Past: English Medieval Vaults project at the University of Liverpool, which involves the use of digital surveying and analytical techniques to study the design and construction of medieval vaulting. More recently, he was a Teaching Associate in History of Art at the University of Cambridge (2021-23) and is currently working as a Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Edinbrugh.

Current Research Interests

James is interested in the practical processes through which architectural designs were conceived and transmitted during the Later Middle Ages.  His research places a strong emphasis on the use of digital technologies to analyse historical creative practices, including laser scanning, photogrammetry and reflectance transformation imaging (RTI).

Education/Academic qualification

History of Art and Architecture, Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge

History of Art, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of York

History of Art, Master of Arts, University of York

External positions

Affiliated Lecturer in History of Art, University of Cambridge

College Research Themes

  • Cultural Heritage
  • Data & Digital
  • Work & Economy


Dive into the research topics where James Hillson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or