Architectural historians and the wider public have reason to be grateful for the day in 1963 when John Newman, a young classics master at Tonbridge School with an enthusiasm for the historic architecture of Kent, wrote to Nikolaus Pevsner to ask if he could do anything to advance the Kent volume of The Buildings of England series. ‘Come and see me’, replied Pevsner, who normally looked for researchers at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Within months John had enrolled for an Academic Diploma in the History of European Art at the Courtauld Institute, and within four years of graduating with a distinction in 1965 had researched and written the two Kent volumes — ‘the best of the whole series’, wrote Pevsner. Since then he has published in almost every subject area of architectural history, trained countless graduates and post-graduates in the field, played a pivotal role as Advisory Editor of The Buildings of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, served as honorary editor of Architectural History from 1975 to 1985 (longest tenure in the Society’s history), and supported an astonishing range of activities in architectural conservation. These essays, from colleagues, friends and ex-pupils, are presented by the Society in his honour, as a mark of our respect and affection, and in gratitude for his outstanding contribution to architectural history and architectural conservation.
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