Janet Gough

Photo Credit:  Kevin Caldwell

Photo Credit: Kevin Caldwell

Janet Gough Apsidal Heritage

“Janet Gough, one of the UK’s foremost experts on cathedrals and church buildings”

Rt. Hon Frank Field DL MP, former Chairman, the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England.

I’m an architectural historian and senior heritage manager specialising in historic churches.

I deliver lectures

give bespoke tours

advise on fundraising and campaigning

advise on conservation, renewal and new uses for churches and develop options and business plans

write books on historic churches

commission beautiful, accessible books for historic religious buildings across Europe

present and produce on heritage for television.

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn

About Janet Gough OBE

Formerly Director of cathedrals and church buildings at the Church of England, a Director at Sotheby’s with City and finance experience, studied history and history of art at Cambridge and was awarded an OBE for services to heritage in the New Year’s Honours 2017. See LinkedIn for more biographical information.

“I have worked with Janet on a number of of initiatives to conserve church architecture and church treasures so they can be enjoyed within church buildings, including projects with the V&A, the 100 Church Treasures Campaign, addressing elderly loneliness via programmes in London Churches and raising £40 million for repair grants to cathedrals. Always enthusiastic, efficient and creative, Janet is a great partner.”

Sir Paul Ruddock, former Chairman the Victoria & Albert Museum

You can contact me by email: janet@janet-gough.com or phone: +44 (0) 7967 581517 or via the form below which I check daily.

Janet’s Tweets:


Author & Commissioning Editor


I’ve written two books on England’s cathedrals and churches, published in paperback by Scala

I commission books and souvenir guides on European places of worship


“An absolutely delightful book, a perfect size to have in the car when visiting the cathedrals which of course are one of the great glories of England.”

“This little book is a terrific account of what is actually interesting about England's cathedrals reflecting the modern taste for concise text that takes the reader straight to the most illuminating points and covering all the cathedrals (in England).”

My books are sold in cathedrals and the National Gallery, via Scala and Amazon:

Purchase: Churches of The Church of England - Purchase: Cathedrals of The Church of England

For special wholesale rates for cathedral and church bookshops please contact me directly

This stained glass portrait of St Thomas Becket from Canterbury cathedral isn’t quite all it seems. Can you spot the tell tales?

This stained glass portrait of St Thomas Becket from Canterbury cathedral isn’t quite all it seems. Can you spot the tell tales?

Talks & Tours

I give illustrated talks on church heritage to many different audiences and I’m an accredited Lecturer on the Directory of Lecturers of the Arts Society (formerly NADFAS).

I recently spoke at the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust at Bishopthorpe Palace, gave the annual lecture to the Friends of St Paul's Cathedral at Stationers’ Hall and the 2017 Ecclesiological Society annual Dykes Bower Memorial Lecture at the Art Workers' Guild.

I can be commissioned to deliver bespoke talks and tours on subjects relating to church buildings and their history, sustainability, future use and funding.

For more info contact me: janet@janet-gough.com

Join me for an evening talk and reception at the V&A on Monday 1 July 2019 to explore the remarkable 15 or so medieval cloisters still serving English cathedral churches despite Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. To find out more or book - https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/b8kME2xG/cloisters-remarkable-cathedral-survivors

My most popular talks are:


Cathedrals, safe places to do risky things

A ravishingly illustrated virtual tour of the Church of England’s magnificent 42 cathedrals, jewels in the crown of our built heritage, some recognised as World Heritage Sites. Audiences will be treated to an overview of cathedral history and architectural evolution including their surprising stories and extraordinary treasures. The changing role of cathedrals in society both in the past and present day is also discussed.

Relates to my book: Cathedrals of The Church of England

How to pick a favourite church

I’ve chosen my favourite church from every Church of England diocese to illustrate the incredible history and architecture of church buildings bound up with the story of England over the last 1400 years. I share with the audience what can be found visiting churches and how they might enhance their own appreciation of different churches. And I discuss the many joys and challenges of maintaining this extraordinary ecclesiastical heritage today.

Relates to my book: Churches of The Church of England

Cloisters: remarkable cathedral survivors

Medieval cloisters, originally spaces linking monastic buildings, are miraculous survivors of Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. English cathedral communities recognised the practicality of cloisters and experimented with cutting edge architecture to build, improve and embellish them. The result is that England’s cathedral cloisters are some of the most extraordinarily beautiful spaces in the world. This talk explores the 15 or so cathedral medieval cloisters in England with spectacular photos and encourages audiences to venture beyond the nave when they next visit a cathedral.


I am working with Australian production company Off the Rails on a seven part series commissioned by PBS USA on the Secrets of Britain’s Great Cathedrals, which is due to air early 2019.

You can preview the series on Vimeo or via the video opposite.

Off the Rails is now working on a new TV series on cathedrals and one on the Pilgrim’s Way about pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and today’s pilgrimage renaissance in the UK.

For more info about my presenting work please contact me

View interview from 1.45

St Paul's KC for 'talks' page.jpg

Consultant & Campaigner

I advise on campaigning, fundraising, conservation and development.

I consult to churches and cathedrals on project management, options appraisals, conservation and fundraising.

For eight years I was Secretary to the Church Buildings Council and the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England. I led a team which secured £40 million in new money for repairs under the First World War Centenary Cathedral Fabric Repair Fund and a total of £55 million for the Church Roofs Fund.  Working with others in telecommunications and transport we achieved a private member’s bill, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 to curb metal theft and I oversaw church chair and parish church art competitions to raise design standards.

As a Governor of Haileybury I’ve commissioned a conversation management plan from Cambridge Architectural Research and as a Trustee of the Priory of St John I’m involved in a lighting project in the crypt of the 12th-century church in Clerkenwell.

I charge a daily rate for my consultancy services. For a proposal please contact me




I can be contacted via the form below or email: janet@janet-gough.com or phone: +44 (0) 7967 581517

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn

If you would like to be added to my newsletter list, please mention so in the message section below:

Name *