Historic England Advisory Committee

The Historic England Advisory Committee offers expert advice to staff and the Commission on Historic England's functions under the National Heritage Act 1983, and other relevant legislation, in particular on policy matters and casework (excluding London) where it is novel, contentious or sets a precedent.


Professor Helena Hamerow - Chair

David Adshead
Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin
Patricia Brown
Nairita Chakraborty
Stafford Critchlow 
Bob Croft
Sophia de Sousa
Mark Gardiner
David Jacques OBE
Jonathan Marsden
Robert Sackville-West
Matthew Saunders MBE
Stephen Smith
Hilary Taylor
Alasdair Travers
Zac Tudor


Professor Helena Hamerow, Chair

Helena Hamerow is Professor of Early Medieval Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Her research interests lie in the settlements, farming practices and economy of northwest Europe during the Early Middle Ages. She is a Fellow of St Cross College, where she was Vice-Master from 2005 to 2008, and an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.

Helena has previously served on the Board of Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum and the Board of Curators of the Bodleian Libraries and was an elected member of the Council of the University of Oxford from 2016 to 2020. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, a former President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology and Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Oxford Archaeology and the Board of Visitors of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. Helena is a Historic England Commissioner and a member of the Historic Estates Conservation Committee.

David Adshead

David is currently the Secretary of national amenity society The Georgian Group and a director of the educational charity The Attingham Trust for which he runs an annual summer school and a bi-ennial course on The London House.

He trained as an architect and art historian, working for many years for The National Trust where he served initially as a Vernacular Buildings Surveyor and finally as Head Curator and Architectural Historian.

He is a former Chairman of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and Trustee of the Society of Antiquaries. He represents ICOMOS (UK) on the Tower of London World Heritage Site Committee and is a Trustee of the Emery Walker Trust.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin

Timothy Brittain-Catlin trained as an architect and masterplanner, and became a historian specialising in 19th and 20th-century architecture, especially of houses and churches. His completed a doctoral dissertation on the English residential architecture of A.W.N. Pugin, leading to the publication of The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century in 2008. He co-edits the Twentieth Century Society’s journal.

He runs the Architecture Apprenticeship course at the University of Cambridge, teaching both design and architectural history. His many publications include Historic England’s Introduction to Historic Assets: 19th and 20th Century Convents and Monasteries, and Leonard Manasseh & Partners, published in association with English Heritage.

Nairita Chakraborty

Nairita is a historic buildings specialist and is currently an Associate at Iceni Projects in their Heritage and Townscape team. She is RTPI and IHBC accredited and has previously worked in various local authorities for over twelve years (2006 to 2018). Nairita has first-hand experience in the challenges of ensuring sustained use of historic buildings whilst delivering large-scale regeneration, housing and infrastructure projects.

Motivated by creative and contemporary design solutions, she has worked on complex projects like Alexandra Palace and Hornsey Town Hall alongside providing advice on heritage-led regeneration masterplans, strategic housing and infrastructure schemes. She has also worked on heritage lottery fund projects, public realm designs; and has undertaken borough-wide characterisation studies, townscape analysis, area appraisals and management plans.

Stafford Critchlow RIBA FRSA

Stafford Critchlow is an architect and director of international practice Wilkinson Eyre. Many of his projects have involved listed buildings or new buildings in sensitive locations, including the Forum at the University of Exeter with a long-span timber grid shell roof in a protected landscape, the Earth Sciences building in Oxford, and two repurposing projects in Bristol: ‘We the Curious’ science centre in a former GWR goods shed and the university Fry Building as a new home for the School of Mathematics.

He grew up in a 1960s self-build project in Lincolnshire, recently listed Grade II (2023).

Stafford was a founding trustee of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF) and previously sat on design review panels for CABE, Islington, and Design: South East.

Bob Croft

Bob Croft first became interested in archaeology in his home county of Northamptonshire and has subsequently worked as a field archaeologist in Yorkshire, Milton Keynes and Somerset. He has over 40 years experience in local authority archaeology services and was the first chair of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers from 1996 to 1999.

Bob was a part-time tutor for Bristol University Archaeology Department and has worked in Somerset for over 30 years as the County Archaeologist. He is currently Head of Historic Environment and Estates for the South West Heritage Trust, a new organisation delivering the local authority heritage services in Somerset and Devon.

Bob is a Fellow of The Society of Antiquaries, a Member of CIfA, and a trustee of the Somerset Churches Trust and the Somerset County History Trust. Since 1987 he has served as the archaeological advisor to the diocese of Bath and Wells.

Sophia de Sousa

As Chief Executive at The Glass-House Community Led Design, Sophia is committed to the charity’s mission to raise the standard of placemaking through public participation and leadership in the design of buildings, spaces, housing and neighbourhoods. Sophia promotes and supports collaborative placemaking as a valuable means of informing good, inclusive, sustainable design that benefits local people and that leads to the long-term improvement of neighbourhoods.

Sophia is a leading advocate and enabler of community led, participatory and co-design practice and research and since 2013, has led The Glass-House strategic partnership with the Design Group at The Open University, which aims to innovate, support and champion design processes that empower people and communities. Sophia is also a Visiting Fellow at The Open University. 

Sophia has a background in architecture and urbanism, education, voluntary sector work and in multicultural issues. She is an active member of cross-sector and interdisciplinary panels and advisory groups including: MHCLG Expert Advisory Panel on High Streets; Highways England Design Review Panel; Historic England Urban Panel; Oxford Design Review Panel; Barking and Dagenham Design Advice Panel; Design Council Cabe Built Environment Experts and others.

Professor Mark Gardiner

Mark Gardiner is a Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Lincoln. He previously worked at Queen’s University Belfast where he was joint head of Archaeology-Palaeoecology, and before that was deputy director of Archaeology South-East at University College London.

He has been President of the Society for Medieval Archaeology and of the Medieval Settlement Research Group. He was until recently Vice-President of Ruralia – the body for medieval and later rural archaeology in Europe – and has served as Vice-President of the Royal Archaeological Institute.

Mark has a long-standing research interest in both excavated and standing buildings. He has directed excavations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Norway, and has studied standing structures in Britain and Greenland.

He is also director of Lincoln Conservation, a commercial company wholly owned by the University, which specialises in the study and conservation of historic decorative interiors.

Dr David Jacques OBE

Dr David Jacques is a garden historian and a cultural landscape specialist. He was the Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens at English Heritage 1987-93, has advised Historic Royal Palaces since 1993, and was a trustee of Chiswick House and Grounds 2005-19.

He is on the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Cultural Landscapes, has undertaken several missions for the World Heritage Centre, and was on the World Heritage Panel 2020-21 and 2022-23.

He is the author of ten books, and in 2022 was awarded an OBE for services to garden history and conservation.

Sir Jonathan Marsden KCVO, FSA

Jonathan Marsden was Director of the Royal Collection and Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art from 2010 to 2017, having previously served as Deputy Surveyor since 1996. Prior to this he worked for the National Trust for eleven years as a Historic Buildings Representative in North Wales and Oxfordshire.  He has served as a trustee of several arts and heritage organisations including Historic Royal Palaces, the Georgian Group, the Art Fund and the City & Guilds of London Art School.  He has published and lectured widely on sculpture and the decorative arts and is the author of the forthcoming catalogue of European Sculpture in the Royal Collection.

Robert Sackville-West

Robert Sackville-West studied at Oxford University, where he read History, and at London Business School, before a career in publishing, creating illustrated books for an international market. As executive chair of Knole Estates, the property and investment company which – in parallel with the National Trust – cares for Knole, he has experience of land management, planning, conservation management, listed buildings and public access.

Since 2021, Robert has also chaired the Kent Community Foundation, which raises money for and distributes grants to, some 400 volunteer-based charities in Kent. He has been involved with education in both the private and state sector, as a governor at Sevenoaks School and Knole Academy, and as a former UK board director of the International Baccalaureate. He is Vice-Chairman of the Royal Oak Foundation, the US-based fund-raising affiliate of the National Trust.

Robert has a great interest in British history and is committed to communicating that interest. His experience at Knole led him to write two critically acclaimed books on aspects of English history: Inheritance (2010); and The Disinherited (2014). His most recent book, The Searchers (2021) is broader in scope. Telling the stories of Britain’s quest to recover, identify and honour the missing soldiers of the First World War, it tackles the enduring impact on British society of the First World War.

Matthew Saunders MBE

Matthew Saunders was until Easter 2018, Secretary of the Ancient Monuments Society and Director of The Friends of Friendless Churches. The AMS is a statutory consultee on applications for listed building consent, in England and Wales, where there is any element of demolition and deals with all historic buildings of the last millennium. The Friends take historic churches into care and at the time of Matthew’s retirement it owned 52, half in England, half in Wales. A number had received welcome grant aid from English Heritage, before the creation of Historic England.

From 2005 until 2011 Matthew was a Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, having previously served on its Expert Panel.

He is currently a member of the Church Buildings Council, the Conservation Committee of The Churches Conservation Trust, a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for London and Trustee to the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation.

He has written on the philosophy of conservation, the architecture of banks and the conversion of historic buildings, the latter a subject to which he hopes to return. He has written the biography of one of the more eccentric Victorian architects, S.S.Teulon.

Matthew was appointed MBE for services to Conservation in 1998.

Stephen Smith

Stephen is a Partner at Wright & Wright Architects, bringing a passion for working with existing buildings and new-build projects in sensitive settings. Stephen’s area of expertise and research interests are sustainable design, supporting empowerment for community projects, and placemaking. An understanding of context in the broadest sense, underpins this approach, from understanding the values, community and physical fabric of a place.

These interests are evident in recent projects that include Magdalen College Library, Oxford, the British Academy, the Enterprise Hub for Royal Academy of Engineering, Lambeth Palace Library and Pallant House Gallery.

Stephen taught a Design Studio at the University of Cambridge for five years, based on public buildings. He was a partner to the Empowering Design Practices research project with the Open University that explores our understanding of, and the transformation of, Places of Worship.

Hilary Taylor

Hilary is an art, architectural and landscape historian, who fell in love with the visual cultures of England as a child, in an Edwardian house and garden, next to Lyme Park, in the Peak District. Undergraduate study at the University of East Anglia – attracted by the 1960s promise of an egalitarian higher education and by the Brutalist architecture of Denys Lasdun – was followed by a PhD, awarded by Nottingham University.

For many years, Hilary Taylor Landscape Associates specialised in the conservation and sustainable development of major historic places, from World Heritage Sites to deer parks, public parks and allotments. This entailed detailed research, creating planting schemes, woodland, views, vistas, fountains and bandstands, secured with management and interpretation plans. Hilary was a Churchill Fellow in 1994, on the HLF Expert Panel 2000 to 2008, HLF Project Monitor, Trustee of the Horniman Museum 2010 to 2014, and on the Church Buildings Council 2008 to 2021, there focusing on ancient and veteran trees, church bells and the craftsmanship of church furniture and fittings.

Hilary’s research explores the cultural and political significance of art and landscapes; publications include: 'British Impressionism: Landscape Images and Attitudes'; and 'The Public Park as a Metaphor for a Civilised Society'. Most recently, she has been working on, 'Thomas Tresham: Elizabeth’s loyal recusant, philosopher, builder, garden maker'.

Alasdair Travers

Alasdair studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. In his current role as Partner and Head of Design at Purcell, his focus is on designing buildings that enhance our historic places and serve the community and the environment.

Alasdair has particular expertise in masterplanning historic places and designing complex building programmes in sensitive environments. His architectural experience ranges from major museums and galleries to residential masterplans, universities, and national public institutions.

Recent projects include masterplans for Burghley House, Ely Cathedral, and Bab al Azab, the historic citadel in Cairo, as well as architectural projects with the National Gallery, St Catherine’s College, Oxford, and the Temple Church.

Zac Tudor

For the past 22 years Zac has worked for Sheffield City Council's Regeneration Design Team. Here he has had responsibility for city-wide design and coordination of public realm delivery within the placemaking agenda. His focus has been landscape design, spatial master planning, and place-making, helping to maximise the city’s resilience to flooding and climate change, while encouraging new economic regeneration that reflects Sheffield’s distinctive historic character.

He has established himself as the key influence in developing Sheffield's identity as a city of distinctive high-quality public realm promoting its uncompromising sense of place and character. His use of horticulture, local natural materials, craftsmanship and art helps to draw on local heritage to create something that is identifiably Sheffield.

Today his interests turn to the re-purposing and changing perceptions of city as a place, identifying character and maintaining and emphasising the historic value, which when combined start to create new incentives to live, work and visit our urban centres.

Index of Agenda Items

If you would like to obtain copies of any meeting papers, please email us at [email protected]

Declarations of Interest

Registers of Interest are maintained for Commission, the Historic England Advisory Committee, the London Advisory Committee and for the Historic England Executive Team. They record any significant, ongoing interest that a member may have and are reviewed by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee twice each year.

If a member has an interest in a specific case to be discussed at a meeting this should be declared at the start of the meeting and recorded in the minutes.