Dr James Legard read history at Oxford at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. After working in educational consultancy for some years he returned to academia, completing a PhD at the University of York on the design of Blenheim Palace, the great baroque mansion designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir John Vanbrugh for the 1st Duke of Marlborough. While at York he won the Nuttgens Prize for the best York PhD project on an eighteenth-century topic, and first prize in the doctoral fellowship competition run by the university’s Humanities Research Centre. He was subsequently awarded a postdoctoral fellowship by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art to carry out further research on Blenheim, which he is now preparing for publication.
After completing his PhD, James worked as a curatorial assistant and researcher at the National Gallery in London, where he developed a research project that used inventory evidence to trace the relationships between art and architecture in British country houses. He is now an architectural historian and heritage at Simpson & Brown, Scotland’s leading conservation architecture practice.