Press & Communications

09 Dec 2011

Westminster Abbey is delighted to announce the appointment of Ptolemy Dean as Westminster Abbey's next Surveyor of the Fabric. He succeeds Mr John Burton who will be retiring in the New Year after 12 years as Surveyor of the Fabric.

Ptolemy Dean has established a significant reputation as an architect who has worked extensively on historic buildings and churches. He was the joint architect with Richard Griffiths in charge of the Millennium project at Southwark Cathedral.  Ptolemy Dean will take up his new duties shortly.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘We are delighted to have secured Ptolemy Dean as our new Surveyor of the Fabric. He brings with him enormous enthusiasm for the Abbey and a formidable reputation as an architect of much experience and great quality.'

Ptolemy Dean said: ‘It is a terrific privilege to be appointed Surveyor of the Fabric at Westminster Abbey. The Abbey finds itself at the heart of national life at Westminster, but must also serve as a place of prayer and retreat. The opportunities for the Abbey church to continue to serve a monastic tradition of welcome and hospitality, while conserving its priceless fabric, are architectural challenges that could have a transforming effect.’

The Surveyor of the Fabric is a statutory position and is the Dean & Chapter’s principal adviser on all matters relating to the fabric of the Abbey church and its associated properties and precincts.

Sir Christopher Wren was Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster Abbey between 1698 and1723. Other Surveyors include the father-and-son team James Wyatt (1776-1813) and Benjamin Dean Wyatt (1813-1827). In the 18th century Nicholas Hawksmoor (1723-1736) left a lasting impression on the fabric of the Abbey, as did Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century (1849-1878).