Warwick Rodwell

Warwick James Rodwell OBE (born 24 October 1946) is an archaeologist, architectural historian and academic. He is Visiting Professor in the Department of Archaeology, University of Reading, and Consultant Archaeologist to Westminster Abbey, where he is also a member of the College of St Peter in Westminster. He is the author of many books and articles, including the standard textbook on church archaeology (first published in 1981). He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Royal Historical Society.

Early life and education

Warwick Rodwell was born in Essex on 24 October 1946, the only child of Thomas George Rodwell and his wife Olive Ellen (née Nottage). He attended the local grammar school, Southend High School for Boys, and afterwards went to Loughborough College of Education (now Loughborough University), where he studied creative design and history and trained as a technology teacher (1965–68) and was awarded a Diploma of Loughborough College (DLC); the university subsequently awarded him the degree of BSc. After Loughborough he studied archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology (now part of University College, London), graduating with a BA Honours in the archaeology of the Roman Provinces (1972). He then went to Worcester College, Oxford, and carried out research for a thesis, based at the Institute of Archaeology (part of the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford), on "Settlement and Economy in the Territory of the Trinovantes, c 500 BC to AD 50", for which he received a DPhil (1976). He also has an MA degree awarded for a thesis at the School of History, University of Birmingham (1979). In recognition of his publications, he was awarded the degrees of DLitt (University of Oxford, 1992) and DLit (University of London, 1998).[1]

Listed degrees and qualifications: OBE, DLC, BSc, BA, MA, DPhil, DLitt, DLit, FSA, FSAScot, FRHistS.[2]


Rodwell excavated a number of prehistoric, Roman, Anglo-Saxon and medieval sites in Essex and Eastern England during the 1960s and 1970s, including Asheldham, Hadstock, Kelvedon, Rivenhall and Wickford. In 1975 he was appointed as the first director of the professional archaeological unit covering the counties of Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset[3] and led a major campaign of excavations and structural recording at Wells Cathedral (1978–93). In 1981 he set up in private practice as a consultant archaeologist and architectural historian, specialising in the investigation, recording and analysis of Anglo-Saxon and medieval churches and cathedrals and major secular buildings of medieval and later date, including castles, palaces and country houses. His listed long-term consultancies include: Glastonbury Abbey (1976–2005), Bristol Cathedral (1976–2010), Wells Cathedral (since 1977), Lichfield Cathedral (1982–2009) and Westminster Abbey (since 2004).[4] He served as a member of the Council for the Care of Churches (now the Church Buildings Council, Church of England) (1976–86); a commissioner of the Cathedrals Advisory Commission (1981–90) and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (1991–96); a member of Salisbury Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee (1987–2006); a member of Exeter Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee (1999–2006); a trustee of the Bath Archaeological Trust (1976–2005); and President of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society (1999–2000).

He was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1965, and the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1977.[5] In 1988 he was awarded the latter Society's Frend Medal for distinguished service to church archaeology. In 1992 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and in 1998 was made a Membre d'Honneur of La Société Jersiaise in recognition of his services to the archaeology of Jersey. Since 2002 he has been Visiting Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading. In 2008 he was appointed as a member of the College of St Peter in Westminster, and is the first holder of the stall designated Archaeologus in the quire of Westminster Abbey.[6] He was appointed OBE in 2009 for services to ecclesiastical archaeology.[7]

Rodwell has studied a number of major ecclesiastical buildings, including Westminster Abbey, Wells Cathedral,[8] Bristol Cathedral, Lichfield Cathedral, Glastonbury Abbey and Dorchester Abbey (Oxon.).[9] Between 1978 and 2007 he carried out a major research programme for English Heritage on the churches of Barton-upon-Humber (Lincs.).[10]


He has published extensively: books, academic monographs, pamphlets, articles in learned journals and chapters in collective volumes. His total output is believed to be in excess of three hundred publications. Books and monographs include:


Rodwell's armorial bearings are:[11] Gules a mascle argent throughout embowed inwards between four feurs-de-lys apexes inwards and enclosing a cross flory or. Crest: Upon a helm with a wreath argent and gules, a cathedral façade triple towered the centre tower enhanced or, the port and windows gules statant upon each outer tower a dove reguardant that on the dexter contourny argent. Motto: Felicitas per Ardua.


  1. University of Reading Staff
  2. Listed in Who's Who 2011
  3. Interview with Warwick Rodwell in British Archaeology
  4. Who's Who 2011
  5. List of fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London
  6. Interview with Warwick Rodwell, in The London Archaeologist 12/8 (2010), 220–2.
  7. BBC news
  8. The Archaeology of Wells Cathedral: Excavations and Structural Studies, 1978–93. London: English Heritage. 2001.
  9. Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire: The Archaeology and Architecture of a Cathedral, Monastery and Parish Church. Oxford: Oxbow Books. 2009.
  10. St Peter's, Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire: A Parish Church and its Community. Volume I: History, Archaeology and Architecture. Oxford: Oxbow Books & English Heritage. 2011.
  11. College of Arms: grant of armorial bearings, 9 December 2009.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 6/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.