Architectural Conservation at Kent: A Conservation Officer’s Perspective

The MSc in Architectural Conservation of the University of Kent provides training for planning officers and many of our graduates currently hold conservation officer roles in London and Southeast England. Tracey Clarke combines her current studies in our programme with her role as Heritage Officer at Dover Distric Council. In the following text, Tracey shares some highlights of her Conservation studies at Kent, alongside some stunning photos of historic buildings she has visited and surveyed in our programme:

‘Historic buildings and ancient ruins have intrigued me since my childhood, so it was no surprise I followed this path in my career. I work as a Heritage Officer for Dover District Council and determine Listed Building Consent applications and act as consultee for Planning Applications. The MSc in Architectural Conservation at the University of Kent has perfectly complimented my job (and vice-versa) and I have studied this on a part-time basis.

The MSc covers an interesting range of topics with site visits consolidating the learning. Visits to Canterbury Cathedral to walk through the roof structure, Fort Burgoyne, St George’s Church in Ramsgate and Chatham Historic Dockyards were particularly enjoyable, especially with the opportunity to enter normally inaccessible areas. Even when that included a rather hairy ascent up St George’s belltower and lighthouse on a slightly windy day!

I have focused on some fascinating buildings for my assessments whilst learning about conservation principles, philosophies and legislation or structural analysis, repairs and interventions. These have included a wide range of case studies, from 12th-century churches and a 14th-century Great Hall to 17 Fleet Street, and early 17th-century building that survived the Great Fire of London. I believe the MSc has provided me with the knowledge and ability to read buildings more effectively and understand the processes of preservation, repair and change. All of which help me make more informed decisions as a Heritage Officer.’

Ramsgate, Church of St. George, view of tower















Ramsgate, Church of St. George, Interior of Bell Tower
Dover, Fort Burgoyne
Wingham, Parish Church of St. Mary
London, No. 17, Fleet Street