Consultant on the history of British buildings

Jean Manco has been a building historian since 1986, but in recent years such work has been more selective, as she has turned her attention to European prehistory and early history. Ancestral Journeys displays some of the results. Her new interest has been so time-consuming that she has been forced to decline many offers of work in building history and should be considered semi-retired as a building historian.

Her clients over her career in researching historic buildings have included private owners, but also a wide range of bodies: English Heritage, local government, rchaeological units, architectural and building firms, and non-profit organisations. Her studies have often been published in scholarly format, but from the start of her career she embraced opportunities to communicate with the general public too. Many articles were written for magazines, which sometimes led to chats on local radio.

She was born in Boston, Lincolnshire. As an adult she lived in London, Manchester, Brighton and Bath before settling in Bristol. Most of her professional work has been done in the West Country. She taught on architectural conservation courses at the universities of Plymouth and Bristol. When it comes to buildings, she refused to specialise. She likes fine architecture of all periods and has written on everything from castles to cottages and Saxon to modern. Still she will confess to a particular predeliction for medieval hospitals.

Some of the detritus of her life can be found at Jean Manco: flotsam and jetsam.

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