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Tinniswood studied English and Philosophy at Southampton University and was awarded an MPhil at Leicester University. He has acted as a consultant to the National Trust, and has lectured at several universities in both the United Kingdom and United States, including the University of Oxford and the University of California, Berkeley.
- Historic Houses of the National Trust
- Country Houses from the Air
- Life in the English Country Cottage
- Travels with Pevsner
- Visions of Power
- Architecture and Ambition from Ancient Rome to Modern Paris
- His invention so fertile: a life of Christopher Wren
- Polite Tourist: A History of Country House Visiting First published in the UK by Basil Blackwell (1989) with a similar title, later published by the National Trust of London (1998)
- By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London (2003)
- The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England (2007)
- Pirates of Barbary, London, Cape, 2010. ISBN 978-0-224-08526-7
- The Rainborowes (2013)
- The Long Weekend: Life in the English Country House Between the Wars (2016)
- The London Gazette: . 15 June 2013.