Emma Baillie profile picture


History of Art - MPhil/PhD/MSc by Research

Start date:


Mode of study:

Full time

Research title:

Eighteenth-century Scottish country houses: their design, interior decoration and use


Emma Baillie (née Olver) is PhD candidate in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She is the recipient of a PhD Scholarship from The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and winner of the Robertson Medal 2021-22. Emma’s PhD thesis focuses on the architecture and interiors of eighteenth-century Scottish country houses.

Emma holds an undergraduate degree in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh and a Master’s degree in Decorative Arts and Historic Interiors from the University of Buckingham. She has worked at a variety of historic properties, including Apsley House, Chiswick House and Kensington Palace, and also works as a freelance copywriter and historical researcher.


PhD Thesis:

Emma’s research aims to consider Scottish eighteenth-century country houses as furnished and lived-in homes, rather than simply architectural shells, and to emphasise how their design and decoration were shaped by both the architects who created them and by the individual requirements of their inhabitants. The thesis will focus on three key case studies: Yester House, Blair Castle and Inveraray Castle. Amongst other topics, it will explore how and why these houses came to be built in a variety of architectural styles, and the extent to which their owners patronised Scottish architects and craftsmen versus English ones.   

Other Research Interests:

  • The development of English and Scottish country houses between circa 1500 and 1820.
  • Eighteenth-century chimneypieces, particularly those created by John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770).


  • The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust: A History of Projects (editor and contributor), 2016 and 2018.