Lesley Smith

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Lesley Smith
Born14 June 1957
London, England
OccupationCurator of Tutbury Castle
Known forMost Haunted

Lesley Smith (M. Univ, M. Phil, FSA (Scot), M.S.M.W) is an English scholar, historian, heritage publicist and actress. She is the curator of Tutbury Castle and is perhaps best known as the resident historian on the television show Most Haunted Live! (2006–10) and presenter of Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders. She has also been featured in a number of other television programmes.[1]


Smith is the curator and lessee of Tutbury Castle, a position granted by the Duchy of Lancaster, for which she works as Public Relations Officer.[2] Between 2000 (when she took up the position) and 2006, Smith presided over a 12-fold increase in visitor numbers. To reward her achievements, in 2006 the University of Derby awarded Smith an honorary master's degree.[3] At the conferment of the degree, she was described as "a remarkable social historian of the 16th century who is passionate about and committed to raising public understanding of the subject."[2]


Smith is known for her dramatic interpretations of Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots, for which she dons authentic replica costumes.[4] She performs regular ghost hunt evenings, in character, at Tutbury.[5] She also takes these re-enactments, as well as those of Nell Gwyn and Anne Boleyn, to theatrical and charitable venues.[6]

Smith also portrays other historical characters such as Nell Gwynn and Boadicea to much critical acclaim.[citation needed]


Smith is a member of the Association of Medical Writers and is currently completing her PhD in "obstetrics and gynaecology in early modern Britain", working in conjunction with University of Birmingham and the British Museum.[7][8] She has lectured there on her discoveries relating to 16th century contraception, such as the use of leather condoms, and citrus fruit as cervical caps.[9] Smith is also a regular contributor to the Journal of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and has delivered lectures to groups such as the Royal Institute of Chemists, Royal Society of Medicine and the Scottish Parliament at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Lesley Smith was entirely convent educated before university, and although described as, "causing quite a stir" by one of the teaching nuns, she claims to have loved school.[citation needed]

When aged 35, she modelled for a realist statue of the Immaculate Conception created by sculptor Mark Delph[10] in 1992. The 12-foot bronze statue can be now seen at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Bicester, Oxfordshire.[11]

Smith is married to Viking specialist authority Dr. Gareth Williams,[12] and has one son, Henry, by her late husband, who was a notary public.

Media appearances[edit]

  • The Final Days of Mary Queen of Scots (2015)
  • The Hour (2011)
  • The One Show (2011)
  • In Bed With... (2008)
  • Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders (2007)
  • Most Haunted (2002, 2006–10)
  • The Worst Jobs in History (2004)
  • The World's Biggest Ghost Hunt (2003)
  • Predictions with Derek Acorah (2001)

Apart from Yvette Fielding, Smith is the only other person to have hosted a series of Most Haunted. She hosted Most Haunted: Midsummer Murders with Fielding in 2007.[citation needed]

Smith has participated in radio interviews for the BBC, and local radio in the Derby area. In 2013 she took part in two interviews for EGH Media and a number of live paranormal investigations on the internet.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Lesley Gets a Degree (2007)". News, www.tutburycastle.com, reprinted from The Burton Mail (19th Jan 2007). Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b c Conferment of the honorary degree of Master of the University[permanent dead link], University of Derby
  3. ^ "'Queen' Rewarded For Modern Day Castle Invasion". Press office, University of Derby (December 4, 2006). Retrieved 9 August 2007.
  4. ^ Bess their souls, Lee Karen Stow, Daily Express, London, 22 March 2003
  5. ^ Ghost writer, Lorne Jackson, Sunday Mercury, Birmingham, 26 September 2004
  6. ^ Queen Lesley entertains the theatre crowd, Birmingham Mail, England, 1 May 2007
  7. ^ Lesley Smith, Curator of Tutbury Castle | Tutbury Castle
  8. ^ http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/centres/histmed/people/graduate.aspx
  9. ^ Q & A with Lesley Smith Archived 18 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Most Haunted website
  10. ^ BBC: Mark Delph, archived 2006 article. Retrieved January 2017
  11. ^ Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester. Retrieved January 2017
  12. ^ British Museum Staff: Gareth Williams. Retrieved January 2017

External links[edit]