Stephen Withnell

DPhil in Architectural History


English and Jesuit Architectural History: Joseph John Scoles’s architectural commissions for the English Province of the Society of Jesus (1832–1862)

Research abstract

An investigation into what the Jesuit churches of J.J. Scoles can teach us about English Jesuit identity, mission and ambition in the nineteenth century.


Prof. Geoffrey Tyack

Prof. Peter Davidson


Stephen completed undergraduate studies in History at Durham University and graduate studies in the History of Art & Architecture at the University of London. He is a graduate of the International Directors Programme at INSEAD.

His current research centres on architecture and Catholic material culture in the nineteenth century, with a specific focus on Jesuit churches.  He is interested in Church history and the cultural patrimony of the Church in general.  


Stephen's most recent published work includes his study of nineteenth century English Catholic monasteries in the 2022 volume of the Rewley House Studies in the Historic Environment, and a monograph on Welsh Jesuit Churches for the Georgian Group Journal.  Stephen has also written on architecture for the Oxford Review of Books and the Catholic Herald.

Research interests

Archietctural History 

C19 History 

Catholic Material Culture 

Jesuit History