Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Harney M

Contact details

Room: 6E 2.21 + 6E 2.22
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 383977


PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • History and theory of historic, designed and cultural landscapes
  • Conservation of historic, designed and cultural landscapes
  • Digital reconstruction of lost landscapes
  • Landscape and literature

Dr Marion Harney

BA (Hons) MPhil, PhD


Dr Marion Harney studied English at the University of Bristol, then completed her MPhil and PhD at the University of Bath. She is a Senior Lecturer in Conservation providing academic support to the Conservation of Historic Buildings Programme, Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster and Postgraduate Director of Teaching.

Marion devised the postgraduate degree course in the Conservation of Historic Gardens and Cultural Landscapes and was appointed Director of Studies in 2007. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) Marion is involved in the design, development, and delivery of unique, highly respected specialist vocational programmes that enable students to become independent and competent practitioners who progress to successful employment in the conservation sector- many with the National Trust, Historic England and English Heritage.

In 2013 she was invited to become a Trustee of the Gardens Trust, the statutory consultee for all registered landscapes in the UK, and is Chair of their Conservation Committee. Marion was appointed to National Trust Council in 2015 and their Historic Environment Advisory Group in 2016, she also represents The Gardens Trust on the Joint Committee National Amenities Society (JCNAS), is Chair of ‘Bathscape’, a multi-organisational Landscape Partnership Project Board of local, regional and national partner organisations. The project was recently awarded £1.8 Million HLF Funding Bathscape to reconnect people and communities with Baths unique landscape setting in ways that benefit people, communities and heritage.

A member of Bath World Heritage Site Steering Group Committee she shares responsibility for overseeing the development, production and implementation of the WHS Management Plan and Chair and organises their Research Committee. Marion is an active member of ICOMOS-UK Cultural Landscapes and Historic Gardens Committee which oversees the cultural landscape dimension of World Heritage Sites and is a member of the Conservation Course Directors’ Forum. In the recent past has been a member and Chair of the Judging Panel for the Landscape Institute Awards in the Conservation and Heritage Category.


Marion’s main research interests are the history and theory of historic buildings, designed and cultural landscapes, World Heritage Sites and their conservation, with a particular interest in eighteenth century architecture, landscape and literature and how literature reflects and shapes the way in which we see the landscape and the environment. In collaboration with colleagues she played a lead role in developing internationally renowned research into the application of Computer Aided Design techniques to inform traditional scholarship in the field of architectural history. The digital reconstruction of lost landscapes and buildings is a novel, unique and effective area of research which gives the opportunity to research the history and development of landscapes and buildings that have been lost, significantly altered, or never realised. Much of her historical research has underpinned the use of computer models developed in CASA to visualise and analyse important historic buildings & rural and urban landscapes and in some cases the digital reconstruction provides the only means by which they could be reconstructed, analysed and assessed, or in some cases regressed to recover a particular period in their development. Sole researcher for the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath, Yale University Press (2003) she engages in sustained knowledge exchange; technology-transfer; public engagement and research impact activities with non-academic external national and international organisations such as; National Trust, English Heritage, Historic England, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts; the Sorbonne; Dublin and numerous Bath-based initiatives. Technology-transfer activities led to collaborations with National Trust on Engineering Doctorates (co-funded between the Trust and EPSRC) piloting the use of digital technology in ‘real-life’, heritage sites.

Marion’s book Place-Making for the Imagination: Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill, (Surrey, 2013) won the prestigious international John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize for 2015 which recognises books that have made significant contributions to the study and understanding of garden history and landscape studies, awarded by The Foundation for Landscape Studies, New York. She has also undertaken significant editorial duties for a commissioned Wiley Blackwell book. Gardens and Landscapes in Historic Building Conservation, (ed.) (Oxford, 2014) which incorporates original research material and contains a series of innovative professional, up-to-date case studies and its publication as an essential resource for conservation students and professional practice.

She has an established track record of giving presentations and organising conferences with national and international participation, most recently in collaboration with ICOMOS-UK ‘Capability’ Brown, perception and response in a global context, University of Bath (September 2016). Marion peer-reviewed the papers which were published in a special edition of Garden History in 2016. Invited to participate in 2 major AHRC funded research networks with leading universities, her chapter, ‘Fragments of beautifully fretted roofs pendent in the air’: conserving ruins 1700 to the present day’, in Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities: Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700-1850 will be published by the British Library in November 2017. She also delivered a public lecture at Strawberry Hill in May 2016 as part of the network outputs and gave a presentation to the National trust South West Leaders Programme. A Participant in the EAAE Thematic Network on Conservation – Workshop V. Conservation/adaptation, Keeping alive the spirit of the place: adaptive reuse of heritage with ‘symbolic value’ her Research Paper, ‘Genius loci restored: the challenge of adaptive re-use’, will be published in 2017, as will an invited contribution to the special tercentenary edition of Image & Narrative on Horace Walpole; ‘The visualisation of Strawberry Hill: a collusion of history and imagination’.


  • MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings


Read publications by Marion Harney