I am an architectural historian, specialising in English ecclesiastical architecture. I read Fine Arts, concentrating on the Middle Ages, at the University of East Anglia, before registering for a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, supervised by Dr Peter Kidson. The thesis on St Frideswide’s Priory Oxford and its place in twelfth century European architecture was not submitted, though much of the research has been published.
I joined the Department of the Environment in 1978 as an Asst. Inspector advising on the new Places of Worship grant scheme and the criteria for listing places of worship. I continued to deal with places of worship once I transferred to English Heritage (EH) in 1984, becoming a Regional Director in 1994, from 1999 running the Cambridge office. I also set up the EH Cathedrals Team and worked with the Heritage Lottery Fund on ecclesiastical grants.
For my last three years with EH, I developed the Inspired! campaign for the future resourcing and management of historic places of worship. On retirement in 2007, I was awarded the MBE for services to the conservation of the ecclesiastical heritage. Since then, I have served on various committees and charitable trusts involved with places of worship, in particular the Friends of Friendless Churches.
I was the BAA Excursions Secretary in the 1980s and have given a number of papers at the annual conference, some of which have been published. I was BAA President 2013-16.