Lichfield Cathedral’s Archaeologist signs off after 26 years

Dr Warwick Rodwell with the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield

Dr Warwick Rodwell with the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield

Lichfield Cathedral Archaeologist Dr Warwick Rodwell is bidding farewell to his post after 26 years.

Dr Rodwell began his professional life as a classical archaeologist working on the late prehistoric and Roman period in the mid 1960s and has since actively pursued a career in church archaeology for over 30 years.

He was awarded the Frend Medal by the Society of Antiquaries for services to church archaeology in 1988.

Speaking last year, Dr Rodwell revealed the highlight of his career came at Lichfield Cathedral:

“The Nave of Lichfield Cathedral in 2003. It was an interesting excavation in its own right but the discovery of the Lichfield Angel was the crowning glory. I had decided I was going to retire from excavation after that 2003 work anyway but to end up on the last day finding the Lichfield Angel was pretty good – I can’t beat that!.”

Dr Rodwell has enjoyed a varied career, including being Consultant Archaeologist at Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Bristol, Lichfield and Wells. He also served on the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (1981 – 1996) and on the Fabric Advisory Committees for Salisbury and Exeter Cathedrals.

Dr Rodwell was heavily involved with the Lichfield InSpires project and has just enjoyed investigating the bombardment of the South side of Lichfield Cathedral during the Civil War during Phase 1 of the ‘once-in-a-century’ project. This involved recording the impact evidence from musket and canon ball shots, as well as investigating the mason’s marks left by the craftsman during this time.

Dr Rodwell’s replacement will be Kevin Blockley. He is currently the Managing Director of Cambrian Archaeological Projects Limited in Powys and acts as consultant and project manager for major ecclesiastical projects throughout the UK. These projects have included Salisbury Cathedral and St Georges Chapel, Windsor plus Cardiff and Chepstow Castles.

Mr Blockley said of his new post:
 
“I am very excited about being appointed as the new archaeological consultant to Lichfield Cathedral. I have been a professional archaeologist for the past 33 years working on a wide variety of projects of all dates, but it is the ecclesiastical archaeology that has most inspired me. I am looking forward to working with the Dean and Chapter’s team during the forthcoming restoration of the Lady Chapel.  Another aspect of the work that I will enjoy is education and interpretation to bring the historical development of the cathedral and its environs alive for visitors.”

Mr Blockley will begin his work at the Cathedral this spring and will be heavily involved in Phase 2 of Lichfield InSpires which will look to restore the North side of the Cathedral and Lady Chapel.

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