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Lunchtime lecture with Professor James Stevens...

18 January 2018, 12:15, The Corn Exchange Building, 31 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG

Runs to 18 January 2018

Join us for a lunchtime lecture given by historian and author Professor James Stevens Curl on the historical background and unique story behind the financing of the early Londonderry plantation.

Don't miss the first of our 2018 events! Lunchtime lecture with Professor James Stevens Curl: 'London's Derrie: The background to the building and financing of the early Londonderry plantation'

Thursday, 18 January, 12:15 - 14:00
The Corn Exchange Building, 31 Gordon Street, Belfast, BT1 2LG

Lecture Abstract
Irish history, unfortunately, tends to be bedevilled by cherished beliefs rather than informed by dispassionate examinations of facts. Professor Stevens Curl, in an illustrated lecture, spiced with various asides, will look at the history of the City of London’s involvement in Ulster from the reign of King James VI and I, setting it firmly within its European context, and demonstrating that the Londonderry Plantation was of far more than local interest, having ramifications far beyond these shores that are rarely aired or understood. Nothing here occurred in a vacuum, for events were always part of a much wider series of historical upheavals, almost invariably closely connected with uproar on the European Continent, especially power-struggles.

Demanding factual understanding, and basing his remarks on thoroughly researched scholarship, the lecturer reveals much that will surprise, entertain, stimulate, and provide material on which to ponder. He will also look at aspects of the financing of the project, the treatment of the City by the Crown, and the resulting seismic events that led to the loss of a monarch’s head, with subsequent political upheavals that saw the end of Absolute Monarchy. That the Plantation played a huge part in those events will be described with the speaker’s customary ebullience, backed by thorough research carried out over many years.

About the speaker
Professor James Stevens Curl is a leading architectural historian. He was twice Visiting Fellow at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, and is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Societies of Antiquaries of London and of Scotland, and a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. In 2014 De Montfort University Leicester conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of his ‘distinctive contribution to the study of architectural history’ and his ‘outstanding contribution to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation and region’, and in 2017 he was awarded the British Academy President’s Medal for ‘outstanding service to the cause of the humanities’, recognising his contribution to the wider study of the History of Architecture in Britain and Ireland. Critics have noted his international reputation for scholarship, thoroughness of research, and lucidity of style. His many publications include studies of Classical, Georgian, and Victorian architecture (not least The Victorian Celebration of Death [1972; 2000; 2004; ebook, 2015]). His Oxford Dictionary of Architecture (with contributions on landscape from Susan Wilson) was published by Oxford University Press in 2015 (paperback in 2016), and hailed as ‘the finest in existence’, deserving of the ‘highest praise’.

Details of Professor Stevens Curl’s other publications may be found on his website:   

How to register for the event
It is very important to the Foundation that our Guild members and friends can participate in this great event as recognition of your support throughout the past year. In recognition of this Guild members can attend free of charge. Non Guild members can also attend this lecture for just £5.00. To register as a guild member or pay as a non-guild member, please visit our webpage: Payment can also be taken at the door.


This lecture will also be live streamed. Be sure to check this page closer to the time for a link to view online


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