Roger Bowdler has a Master’s and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. His research was on 17th century funerary monuments of a macabre nature: the start of his quest into how the dead are kept in mind.
Since 1989 he worked at English Heritage, which later became Historic England, where he was a senior director responsible for listing – overseeing the recommendations to government on what buildings, sites and landscapes get protected. His heritage career involved many high profile cases, and the modernization of the system of protection, including the launch of the highly successful on-line National Heritage List for England. Lecturing to American universities helped keep him energised.
After 29 years he has gone freelance, to become a heritage consultant, to teach and to write. He can now pursue his research interests in commemoration and is working on a book on tombstones. He has written numerous articles, appeared on national media, and lectured extensively.