Matthew Williams trained as an Art and Architectural historian, gaining a good degree in Art History from The University of Nottingham.  His post-graduate qualification in Art Gallery and Museum Studies was awarded by The University of Manchester. With curatorial experience gained in both museums and contemporary arts, he was appointed as Keeper of Collections of Cardiff Castle in 1990, becoming Curator in 1998. 

He has since become a recognised expert on the work of the Gothic revival architect William Burges and lectures widely on the subject of Victorian design.  His book, ‘Cardiff Castle and the Marquesses of Bute’ was published by Scala Press in 2019.

Matthew has written two guide books to Cardiff Castle, as well as a Pitkin guide on William Burges. He also wrote a guide to Insole Court.  His published articles include contributions to The Decorative Arts Society Journal, articles in ‘Country Life’, and ‘Architectural History’.

During 2017, Matthew completed a successful tour of the U.S and Canada undertaken for the Royal Oak Foundation, Historic Seattle and Craigdarroch Castle.

Matthew Williams has been an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society since 2001, and has also lectured to the Universities of Nottingham, Swansea, Cardiff and Southampton, The Art Fund, The National Trust, The Furniture History Society and The Tate Gallery.  He also lectures for The National Museum of Wales, Picton Castle, The Mount Stuart House Trust, Falkland Palace and Dumfries House. 

He has been awarded scholarships by The Attingham Trust in 2000 and 2003, as well as a Jonathan Ruffer travelling scholarship by The Art Fund in 2013.


‘An enthusiastic, clear and knowledgeable presentation’

‘A truly excellent presentation with appropriate humour. Great slides and a well –researched subject. We had a deal of really good feedback from members as they were leaving. Matthew is very personable and related well to his audience’

‘A Faultless presentation.  Very good talk given with great confidence’ 

‘Excellent speaker, informative and witty.  Matthew had an excellent rapport with his audience and was well received’

‘Outstanding in every respect’

‘A brilliant lecture – the highlight of our calendar so far

‘Always a most interesting and informative lecturer. It was good to welcome Matthew back to our society for the third time in recent years’

‘A well-structured, clear, humorous and well-informed lecture. Well received by the audience. Good images and an interesting mix of architectural and social history. Confident presentation and a friendly style….’

‘Spoke clearly, audience commented that they could hear every word’ 

‘This was our first lecture of the new season – what a star!  It was excellent, so interesting and so well delivered. Matthew was a delightful guest’ 

‘An amusing speaker with a good sense of humour….he had us laughing in our seats’ 

‘A most articulate and interesting lecturer’ 

‘An excellent and confident lecturer. This was Matthew’s third visit to our society.. He is always well-received’

‘Well documented, factual …delivered with good splodges of humour’ 

‘A lecturer who can hold his audience with touches of humour’ 

‘A fluent and very well presented lecture with high-quality images – clearly well informed on the subject’ 

‘One of the best’ 

‘We had a problem with our microphone. Matthew performed well without – totally unflappable’  

‘Matthew is a brilliant speaker, witty, waspish and entertaining – really good value’ 

‘A totally original lecture delivered in an extremely relaxed and confident manner, totally enjoyed by the audience’

‘A beautifully balanced lecture from beginning to end. Matthew educated and amused’ 

‘A wonderful all-round speaker and a pleasure to deal with’