University of Leicester researcher is finalist for prestigious heritage award

  • Mark Webb has been shortlisted as one of three finalists in the ‘Best Research, Interpretation or Recording’ category of the Historic England Angel Awards 2018
  • People are urged to vote for an additional public choice ‘Overall’ award at HistoricEngland.org.uk/AngelAwards
  • Annual awards supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation celebrate heritage heroes who have helped save historic buildings and places

PhD researcher from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, Mark Webb is celebrating being named one of three finalists in the ‘Best Research, Interpretation or Recording’ category of this year’s prestigious Historic England Angel Awards.

Mark co-founded the Medieval Coventry charity to share knowledge about Coventry in the Middle Ages (www.medievalcoventry.co.uk). Coventry is associated with the Blitz and post-war reconstruction and its important medieval past has often been overlooked. Yet a surprising amount of medieval Coventry’s architecture, art, archives and below-ground archaeology have survived, much of it of national significance.

The charity is sharing the latest research about this important period of Coventry’s past through a variety of methods including a major public conference in September 2017, involving key academics who generously gave their time and shared their latest research on medieval Coventry themes;  a Virtual Reality model of Coventry’s Spon Street suburb in partnership with the University of Warwick, with sights, sounds and smells of medieval tanning, dyeing and weaving activities;  self-guided app-based and traditional walking tours; an exhibition this September during Heritage Open Days on the extraordinary connection between Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou and Coventry, in partnership with the University of Oxford and sponsored by the Coventry City of Culture Trust; and a new website with resources, projects, news and key facts on Coventry in the Middle Ages.

‘Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording’ is one of six award categories and three people or projects have been shortlisted for each category. Other categories include ‘Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place’ and ‘Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People ’. There will also be an overall award for which the public can vote. The awards ceremony will be held in London on 27 November.

Mark Webb said: “I am delighted that Coventry’s medieval heritage is being given the recognition it deserves. There is much in the city that is of national importance, including the magnificent gothic spire of St Michael’s, the fascinating late medieval tapestry in St Mary’s Hall, some of the finest surviving medieval wall paintings in the country at Charterhouse and Holy Trinity, a significant archive and archaeological collection and more besides. Coventry also has more 14th and 15th century domestic houses than any other major city apart from York.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber, who founded the Historic England Angel Awards in 2011, said: “I am thrilled to see the wide range of heritage projects included in the shortlist for the 2018 Historic England Angel Awards. This year we can truly call the Angel Awards a national celebration with England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and, for the first time, Wales hosting Heritage Angel Awards.

Everyone involved in these projects deserves to be recognised and congratulated on the vital role they play in protecting unique heritage, buildings, landscapes and craft skills for future generations. I am excited that for the first time we will be crowning an overall UK winner at the final ceremony.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “The Angel Awards allow us to celebrate the people who work tirelessly to care for our irreplaceable heritage. So often they are in the background, but now we turn the spotlight on the volunteers and heritage professionals whose work ensures we can continue to enjoy England’s wonderful historic sites for generations to come.”

Vote for us!

While the five category winners will be decided by a panel of expert judges, each project is now seeking the public’s support to win a further award. All 15 shortlisted projects – three per category - are in the running for the Historic England People’s Favourite award chosen solely by the public.

Voting is now open. Cast your vote at HistoricEngland.org.uk/AngelAwards. Voting closes 18 November 2018.

Chaired by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the 2018 judging panel comprises historian Bettany Hughes, TV’s Restoration Man George Clarke, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Baroness Lola Young and Historic England’s Chief Executive Duncan Wilson.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards at a glittering ceremony at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, London on 27 November 2018.

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