Mr Paul Holden
Profiles

Mr Paul Holden

Visiting Research Fellow

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

Biography

Biography

Paul Holden was born in Southampton, the son of Bill Holden an international speedway rider in the 1950s. Unlike his father (and cousin Kevin) Paul, despite trying, had little talent for motorcycle racing so channelled his energies into his job as a heating and service engineer for British Gas. After redundancy in 1995 he became a senior tradesman at Winchester College where he first discovered architecture − he later wrote his MA dissertation on the life and works of William Wynford, the retained master mason to William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester. Part of this work was published in Hampshire Studies (2008) and Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society (2018).

In 1999 he moved to Cornwall where he took up a post, first as House and Collections Manager and then Project Curator, for the National Trust at Lanhydrock. During that time he published and lectured widely on a wide range of architectural, curatorial, heritage, cultural and social history topics and was fortunate to lecture in America, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Ireland and throughout England. He was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2010.

Paul is now a freelance heritage professional and architectural historian. He is chairman of Truro Diocese Advisory Committee, vice-chair of Truro Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, member of the Cornwall Design Review Panel and President of the Cornwall Family History Society and the James M MacLaren Society.

After five years as commissioning editor for Architectural Historian for Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain he has taken up the editorship of Heritage Now, the magazine of Historic Buildings & Places. 

Qualifications

British Gas engineer 1980-94

Winchester College heating engineer 1994, lead tradesman1994-9

National Trust, Lanhydrock. House and collections manager, 1999-2019

Heritage Kernow board member 2005-8, 2016-20

Fabric Advisory Council for Truro Cathedral 2008-, vice-chairman 2020

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, 2010-

Chairman of Cornish Buildings Group 2010-18

Country house advisor (2008-14) to Peter Beacham for Buildings of England: Cornwall (Yale University Press, 2014)   

Cornwall Design Review Panel 2015-

Commissioning Editor for Architectural Historian for Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 2015-21

Carclew Steering Group (Historic England) 2019-

Three-year contract to write full conservation management plan for National Trust at Lanhydrock (project stalled in June 2020 after year 1 because of Covid-19)

Freelance architectural historian 2020- (working on various historic building surveys, some for planning).

Working party Heritage Buildings Group Lostwithiel Town Council looking for viable solutions for Edgcumbe house, Taprell house and the Guildhall. 2019-20

Diocese Advisory Committee, Truro Diocese, 2019, chairman 2020-

President Cornwall Family History Society, Truro, 2020-

President James M MacLaren Society, 2020-

Visiting Research Fellow, Plymouth University 2020-

Project lead for three-year Historic England/ Cornwall Heritage Trust grant funded project on buildings at risk in Cornwall 2020-

Chairman Church Care Uses Committee, 2021

 Editor for Heritage Now, the magazine of Historic Buildings and Places (Ancient Monuments Society) newsletter 2021-


Professional membership

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, 2010-

Roles on external bodies

Heritage Kernow board member 2005-8, 2016-20

Fabric Advisory Council for Truro Cathedral 2008-, vice-chairman 2020

Chairman of Cornish Buildings Group 2010-18

Cornwall Design Review Panel 2015-

Carclew Steering Group (Historic England) 2019-

Working party Heritage Buildings Group Lostwithiel Town Council looking for viable solutions for Edgcumbe house, Taprell house and the Guildhall. 2019-20

Diocese Advisory Committee, Truro Diocese, 2019, chairman 2020-

President Cornwall Family History Society, Truro, 2020-

President James M MacLaren Society, 2020-

Chairman Church Care Uses Committee, 2021


Research

Research

Research interests

Architecture, Cornwall, country houses, culture, curatorship, design, heritage and social history. I am currently working on the history of Trewithen, a country house near Truro. In particular the works of the architects Thomas Edwards and Sir Robert Taylor.  

Other research

Mary Toft and the rabbit births of 1726.

Publications

Publications

Journals

‘Writing History at Lanhydrock’, Journal of the Writing History Society, Autumn 2001, No. 62, pp.22-5.

‘The Hunt Family, Lanhydrock House and the Regency Style’, Furniture History, Vol.XXXVII, 2001, pp.20-31.

‘The Lead-work at Winchester College School’, The Georgian Group Journal, Vol. XII, 2002, pp.238-44.

‘The Owners of Lanhydrock House’, Practical Family History, January 2002, No, 49

‘The Transformation of Lanhydrock House, Cornwall, 1758-1829’, Journal of the Cornish History Network, 2002.  

‘Monitoring the Book Collection at Lanhydrock House’, Proceedings of Environmental Monitoring of our Cultural Heritage; Sustainable Conservation Solutions, Environmental Building Solutions / English Heritage, November 2003. (ISBN 0-9546505-0-6) (Republished in Journal of the Society of Archivists, Vol. 28, No. 1, April 2007)

‘Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves: The Realities of Disaster Planning’, Journal of the Society of Archivists, Vol. 25, No. 1, April 2004, pp.27-32

‘A Recently Discovered Cornish Garden Design by George Truefitt (1824-1902)’ The Cornish Garden, 2005, pp.24-30

Noxious Fumes and Morbid Lungs: Gas Lighting in Public and Private Buildings, Newsletter of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers Panel for the History of the Gas Industry, No 43 June 2005 pp.1-2, No 44 September pp.1-2 (Transcript of a paper read at the Royal Institution, London, 2000)

‘“Situation, Contrivance, Receipt, Strength and Beauty”: The Creation of Lanhydrock House 1620-85' Royal Institution of Cornwall Journal, 2005, pp.32-44

‘Richard Coad: A Work in Progress’, James M MacLaren Society Journal, No.2, Autumn 2005, pp.7-18

‘Geometrical & Gothic at Lanhydrock: A Garden Design by George Truefitt’, Apollo: The National Trust Historic Houses and Collections Annual 2007, April 2007, pp.62-66

‘Rewriting Lanhydrock’, Journal of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, Autumn 2007, pp.5-20

Lanhydrock Book of the House, The National Trust, July 2007, (2nd ed, March 2009, 1st ed. in German translation May 2009, 3rd ed. September 2009)

‘William of Wykeham’s Craftsmen and the Patronage Society’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club, 2008, pp.1-8

'Refinement and Elegance: Mrs Mary Hunt (1740-1824) and No 76 South Audley Street', Georgian Group Journal, 2009, pp.115-124  

‘George Edmund Street in Cornwall’, Journal of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies, Spring 2009, pp. 1-15

‘James MacLaren: unscrupulous assistant or benevolent collaborator?’ James M MacLaren Society Journal, 2009, pp. 23-33  

‘A Very English Gentleman: The Political Career of the Hon. Thomas Agar-Robartes MP’, The Journal of Liberal History, Spring 2010, pp.8-18

‘“One of the most remarkable things in London”: A visit to the Lord Treasurer’s Library in 1712 by Samuel Molyneux’, British Library electronic journal, 2010, article 10

‘Damage limitation planning and training at Lanhydrock House, Cornwall’ in (ed.) Stewart Kidd, Fire Safety Management in Traditional Buildings, Guide for Practitioners 7, Historic Scotland, Technical Conservation Group, 2010, pp.120-3

‘Westminster in 1712: a description by Samuel Molyneux’, Journal of Parliamentary History, 2010, pp.542-9

‘Pencarrow’, Country Life, 18 August 2010.  

‘The True Taste of Beauty’: Gardens in the Letters of Samuel Molyneux, Newsletter of the Garden History Society, 46, October 2012, pp.10-11

‘The Rise and Fall of the Hamlet of Respryn’, Journal of the Old Cornwall Society, Spring 2013

‘Trewithen, near Truro in Cornwall’, Country Life, 29 May 2013, pp80-85  

‘Trewithen and the Brettingham Plans’, Georgian Group Journal, Volume XXI, 2013, pp. 58-72

‘Duty of Care’, Fire Risk Management, September 2013, pp.27-31. (Reproduced as ‘“Heaven Helps Those who Help Themselves”: technical protection in buildings’ in National Trust Views, 50, Autumn 2013, pp.35-38.

‘Fire Control Measures at Lanhydrock’, The Buildings Conservation Directory, Institute of Historic Building Conservation, December 2013, pp.164-67   

‘A Cornish Lodge by Joseph Gandy’, Georgian Group Journal, Volume XXII, 2014, pp.145-8.

‘“A Masterpiece of the Estate Surveyor’s work”: the Lanhydrock Atlas 1694-6’, International Map Collectors Journal, March 2014, pp.30-8

‘The Architectural Offices of Richard Coad and James M MacLaren’, The James MacLaren Journal, Vol.13, February 2015, pp.17-26.

‘How the King of Cornwall brought History to Life’ Architectural Historian, Vol.1, Summer 2015, pp.14-7.

‘A Journey into Cornwall by Thomas Povey in 1665’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 2015, pp.25-42.

„Nebesa pomáhají těm, kteří si pomohou sami“- organizace požární ochrany v Lanhydrock House in (Ed. Petr Svoboda) Mosty k požární ochraně kulturních památek odborná konference s mezinárodní účastí (Prague, 2015) pp.6-13 (ISBN 978-80-7480-042-9)

‘The First Georgian House in Cornwall’, Architectural Historian, Vol.3, Summer 2016, pp.14-7

‘Station Drive’, Journal of the Old Cornwall Society, Winter 2016

‘Marching on: a most moving mosaic floor’, National Trust Views, 53, Aut 2016, pp.80-1

'Richard Coad, architect of 3 Duke Street, Adelphi’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, 2017, (Runner up in the Royal Institution of Cornwall Cardew Rendall prize)

‘The Life and Work of William Wynford (c.1340-c.1400), Retained Master Mason to William of Wykeham’ in Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, 2018, pp.116

‘The Buildings of Winchester College’, Architectural Historian, 2020, pp.8-13

‘Trewarthenick and Enys: two Cornish houses by Henry Harrison’, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, 2020, pp.56-72

‘Antiquaries, Archaeologists and Architects: the building of Bignor park in Sussex’, Georgian Group Journal, 2020, pp.177-88

‘James MacLaren and the Rush Seated Chair’, The James M MacLaren Journal (winter, 2020)

 


Books

Lanhydrock (National Trust/ History Press, 2006). Various reprints in English and German translation.

The Lanhydrock Land Atlas: A Facsimile Edition (Cornwall Editions, 2010). (Winner of the 2011 Holyer an Gof Award for best Cornish publication).  

The London Letters of Samuel Molyneux, 1712-13 (London Topographical Society, 2011).

‘Celebrating Pevsner: new insights in Cornish architectural history’, Proceedings of the 2015 Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Yale University Press, Cornish Heritage Trust and the National Trust, (Francis Boutle, London, 2017

'What is Unique about Cornish Buildings', Proceedings of the 2019 Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Historic England and the National Trust, (Shaun Tyas, 2021 in press)

50 years of the Cornish Buildings Group (Cornish Buildings Group, 2021 in press)

Consultant, contributor and editor for Michael Warner, Time to Build: signposts to the building, restoration, enhancement and maintenance of Cornwall’s Anglican churches and mission rooms 1800-2000, (Scryfa Press, 2021 in press)


Chapters

‘“Of Things Old and New”: The Work of Richard Coad and James M MacLaren’, in (Eds) Jason Edwards and Imogen Hart, The Aesthetic Interior (Ashgate/ Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, 2010).   

‘“Is it Scientific and Safe?”: Country House Technology at Lanhydrock’ in (Eds.) Paul Barnwell and Marilyn Palmer, Country House Technology (Shaun Tyas/ National Trust, 2012).

‘Lanhydrock: A Parish at War’ in (Ed) Terrance Dooley, The Country House and the Great War (Four Courts Press, 2016).

‘The Cornish Country House 1550-1850’ in (Ed) Paul Holden, Celebrating Pevsner: new insights on Cornish architectural history (Francis Boutle, 2017)

‘“I am not now at all poor”: Anna Maria Hunt (1771-1861) and the changing fortunes of a Cornish estate’ in Her Story (working title) (Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter, 2021).

‘Fifty Years of the Cornish Buildings Group’ in (Ed) Paul Holden What is Unique about Cornish Buildings, Proceedings of the 2019 Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Historic England and the National Trust, (Shaun Tyas, 2021, in press)

 ‘Beauty will result from the form and correspondence of the whole’: Palladianism in Cornwall’ in (Ed) Paul Holden ‘What is unique about Cornish buildings’ Proceedings of the 2019 Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Historic England and the National Trust, (Shaun Tyas, 2021 in press)


Performances

Major Papers Presented 

'The Transformation of Lanhydrock House, Cornwall, 1758-1829', The Country House, 1500-2000 Culture, Community and Context, University of Exeter, January 2002

'Noxious Fumes and Morbid Lungs: Gas Lighting in Public and Private Buildings', National Trust Conference on Historic Lighting, Royal Institute, London, April 2002 Paper circulated to historic buildings staff by Queen Anne's Gate

'William of Wykeham and his Builders', Sacred Space, University of Exeter, April 2003   

'Monitoring the Book Collection at Lanhydrock', Environmental Monitoring of our Cultural Heritage, English Heritage, National Museums of Scotland, National Library of Scotland et al. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, November 2003

May / June 2004. Won a three-week scholarship through the Victorian Society of America to study architecture in Massachusetts. We concentrated mainly on buildings in the Boston and Newport, Rhode Island, areas, and works by the likes of Richard Morris Hunt, H.H. Richardson, McKim, Mead and White &c..

Presented two lectures entitled ‘The Robartes Family and Lanhydrock’ whilst in the United States.

‘Cottages and White Elephants: The Architecture of Newport, Rhode Island’, Devon and Cornwall Property Managers Conference, September 2004  

'Monitoring the Book Collection at Lanhydrock', Environmental Monitoring of our Cultural Heritage, English Heritage et al. English Heritage Lecture Theatre, Savile Row, London, March 2005 ‘Mrs Mary Hunt (1740-1824): The Transience of a Regency Consumer’, Women’s History Network 14th International Annual Conference, Women, Art and Culture: Historical Perspectives, Southampton University, September 2005

‘Builders and Mortality: A Fourteenth Century Perspective’, The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal 7th International Conference, Bath University, 15-17 September 2005. (Abstract published in Mortality, Volume 10, 2005, p.40)

‘Of Things Old and New: The Works of Richard Coad and James MacLaren’, The Aesthetic Interior: Neo-Gothic, Aesthetic, Arts and Crafts, University of London, 2829 October 2005

‘DCLI Buildings – From Châteaux / Baronial to Old English’, Cornish Buildings Group Annual General Meeting, The Keep, Bodmin, 26 February 2006

‘Richard Coad, Architect’: Colloquium on Victorian Provincial Architects. University of Liverpool Friday 28 November 2008.

‘Richard Coad in Cornwall’: Lecture given at the AGM of the Cornish Buildings Group. April 2009.

‘Is it scientific and safe?’: the refurbishment of Lanhydrock house in Cornwall. Paper delivered to the Country House Technology conference at Rewley House, Oxford. May 2010

‘Cornish Country Houses’: Lecture given at the Daphne Du Maurier Literary Festival, Fowey, Cornwall. June 2010.

‘A Masterpiece of the Estate Surveyor’s work’: Lecture given at the Past Environments and Sustainable Futures in Cornwall: Early Modern Discourses of Environmental Change and Sustainability conference, Arts and Humanities Research Council in conjunction with the University of Exeter. July 2011

‘Port Eliot’: Lecture given at the Port Eliot Literary Festival, Port Eliot, Saltash, Cornwall. July 2012.

‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’: Technical Protection in Historic Buildings Castles, Country Houses – Quo Vadis II, The Present and Future of Historic Properties. The Second International Conference organised by the National Heritage Institution of Czech Republic. 1st and 2nd November 2012, Sychrov Castle, Czech Republic.

‘The Squire Turn’d Ferret: restoring the reputation of Samuel Molyneux F.R.S. (1689-1728). Paper given to Bath Spa University, Holburne Museum, Bath. March 2013.

‘Passive Fire Protection at Lanhydrock, a case study’, conference organised by Institute of Chief Fire Officers, Pendennis Castle, April 2013.

‘The Collections of the Earls of Radnor (1679-1758)’, Wallace Collection, London, May, 2013. Lecture from research bursary awarded in 2011 from the National Portrait Gallery, London.  

‘Mary Toft and the Pleasures of Disgrace’, Georgian Pleasures Conference, Bath Spa University, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, 12/13 September 2013.

‘The Life and Work of William Wynford, Retained Master Mason to William of Wykeham’, Winchester and Memory Conference, University of Winchester, April 2014.

‘Lanhydrock: a Parish at War’ The Country House and The Great War: the European Experience, Maynooth University, Dublin, May 2014.  

‘The London Letters of Samuel Molyneux’, Society of Antiquaries of London, May 2014

‘Trerice Unpicked’, Elizabethan Interiors: Preparing, planning and presentation, National Trust, Montacute House, November, 2014.

‘The Lanhydrock Atlas, Book Conference, National Trust, Saltram, February, 2015.  

‘Ghastly Good Taste’: The Cornish Country House 1540-1800’, ‘Only a Cornishman would have the endurance to carve intractable granite’: Cornwall’s architecture and architectural legacy. A conference to celebrate the Publication of the revised Cornwall, the first of Pevsner’s 46 Volumes in the Buildings of England series. Cornish Buildings Group Conference in Association with Cornwall Heritage Trust, Yale University Press and National Trust, 6-7 March 2015.

„Nebesa pomáhají těm, kteří si pomohou sami“- organizace požární ochrany v Lanhydrock House. Mosty k požární ochraně kulturních památek odborná konference s mezinárodní účastí. National Museum, Prague, 2015.  

‘Lanhydrock and the Robartes family’ London Cornish Association, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, London, 16 April 2016.

‘Dusty Attics, Damp Cellars and a Chesty Cough: researching the Cornish Country House and other stories’ Cornwall Association of Local Historians Spring Conference, Newquay, 26 February, 2017.

‘Place-making, “critical regionalism” and local distinctiveness: what can we learn from the past?’ What architectural design philosophy is appropriate for ‘a land apart’? Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with RIBA (SW), Cornwall Council and Cornwall Architectural Trust. 7 April 2017.

‘The Country Houses of Devon and Cornwall’ Cornerstone Heritage and the University of Plymouth Sumer Lecture Series, Powderham Castle, Devon, 25 May 2017.

‘Researching the Cornish Country House’ The Inaugural George Vaughan-Ellis RIBA Memorial Lecture, Stuart House, 16 November 2017.

‘Princes to Paupers: portraiture in the Lanhydrock photographic collection’, Understanding British Portraits Annual Seminar, National Portrait Gallery, 29 November 2017.

‘“Estate Mapping at its Finest”: the Lanhydrock Atlas, 1696’, New Insights in 16th and 17th Century British Architecture, Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, 3 January 2018.

'James Maclaren and the Rush Seated Chair', The Rush Seat Chair: past, present and future. Marchmont House, Greenlaw, Scotland. 14/15 September 2018.  

‘“Beauty will result from the form and correspondence of the whole”: Palladianism in Cornwall’ ‘What is Unique about Cornish Buildings’ Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Historic England and the National Trust). John Keay Lecture Theatre, St Austell. 22/23 March 2019.

‘The London Letters of Samuel Molyneux and a Curious Tale about Rabbits’, Georgian Group, London, May 2020.

 


Reports

Reports 

Conservation Statement for Trerice (National Trust, 2017). 

Conservation Management Plan (Collections, Room Gazetteer and Buildings) for Lanhydrock (National Trust, 2019)

Conservation Statement/ Management Plan for Carclew (Historic England, 2020)

Various contributions to historic impact assessments and planning advice.  

 Book Reviews

Parham: An Elizabethan House & its Restoration: A Sussex House Transformed by Jane Kirk, (VCH/ History Press, 2008) in Southern History (2010)

 Sharp Words (Architectural Press, 2012) http://www.bdonline.co.uk/culture/

 Architects, Angels, Activists and the City of Bath, 1765–1965 by Cynthia Imogen Hammond, Concordia University, Canada, (Ashgate, 2013) in Planning Perspectives (2013), pp.156-7.

 Country Houses of East Dorset by Michael Hill (Spire, 2013) in Newsletter of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (2014)

 Roderick O'Flaherty's Letters 1696-1709 by Prof Richard Sharpe (Royal Irish Academy, 2013) in Antiquaries Journal (2014), pp.405-7.

 Life in an Eighteenth-century Country House: Letters from The Grove by Peter Hammond and Carolyn Hammond, (Stroud, 2013) in Antiquaries Journal (2014), pp.405-7.

 Country Houses of Devon by Hugh Mellor (Black Dog, 2015) in Architectural History (2016), pp.355-6

 Setting the Scene: Perspectives on Twentieth-Century Theatre Architecture (Ed.) by Alistair Fair (Ashgate, 2015) in Architectural History (2016), pp.375-7.  

 Treasures of the Portland Collection by Michael Hall (The Harley Foundation, 2016) for the National Portrait Gallery (Understand British Portraits website) online, 2016.

 St Paul’s Cathedral: archaeology and history by John Schofield (Oxbow, 2016) in Architectural History (2017), pp.156-8

 The Building Site in Eighteenth-Century Ireland by Arthur Gibney (Four Courts Press) in Architectural History, (2018), pp.285-6.

 A Gazetteer of Ancient Bench Ends in Cornwall’s Parish Churches by Todd Gray (Mint Press, 2016) in Antiquaries Journal (2018), pp.346-7.

 Buckfast Abbey by Peter Beacham Antiquaries Journal (2018), pp.350-1.

 The Welbeck Atlas: William Senior’s maps of the estates of William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle 1629-1640 by Stephanos Mastoris in International Map Collectors Journal, 2019, pp.267-70

 Making Dystopia by James Stevens Curl, Antiquaries Journal, 2020, pp.469-71

 Rt Hon Captain Neil Primrose MP 1882-1917: a Primrose Path by Martin Gibson, Journal of Liberal History 2021.


Exhibitions

The Life of the Honourable Captain Thomas Agar-Robartes MP (1880-1915). National Liberal Club, London. 2004.

Personal

Personal

Reports & invited lectures

See presentations.

Online lectures 

Georgian Pleasures: the pleasures of disgrace. 'Mary Toft and the Rabbit Scandal, 1726' Paul Holden - Georgian Pleasures - YouTube

Society of Antiquaries of London 'The London Letters of Samuel Molyneux, 1712-13' 22 May 2014: SAL OM, Paul Holden, FSA - YouTube

Conferences organised

‘Only a Cornishman would have the endurance to carve intractable granite’ Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Yale University Press, Cornish Heritage Trust and the National Trust. National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, 6 and 7 March 2015.

‘What is the most appropriate design philosophy for a “land apart”’ Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Cornwall Council, Royal Institute of British Architects and the Cornwall Architectural Trust. Burrell Theatre, Truro School, 7 April 2017.

‘What is Unique about Cornish Buildings’ Cornish Buildings Group Conference in association with Historic England and the National Trust). John Keay Lecture Theatre, St Austell. 22/23 March 2019.