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Harriet Richardson Blakeman

PhD Candidate, Architectural History, The University of Edinburgh

I studied English and the History of Art at the University of Nottingham, after which I gained an MLitt from the University of St Andrews in architectural history. This led me to a career as an architectural historian. My first job was a survey of historic hospital buildings in Scotland, a two-year post funded by the Scottish Research Council which I did in 1988-90. I then worked briefly for Historic Scotland before joining the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England on a national project to record hospitals. I went on to edit the resulting publication, 'English Hospitals 1660-1948', published in 1998.
Since 1992 I was based with the Survey of London, and after the hospitals project I joined the Survey team, contributing to several of their published volumes on London's urban history. I took early retirement in 2018, and decided to pursue my interest in hospital design, taking the story on beyond 1948 to investigate how hospital buildings developed under the NHS. In 2019 I was awarded an AHRC-funded scholarship by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities to undertake a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. The subject of my doctoral research is the idea of medicine and modernity in hospital architecture in the first fifty years of the NHS in Scotland.


  • –present
    PhD Candidate, Architectural History, The University of Edinburgh