Simon Thurley was appointed Chair of The National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund on 1 April 2021.
Simon is Provost of Gresham College, London’s oldest higher education establishment, founded in 1597 to give free public lectures in the City. He serves on the Sponsor Board and the Delivery Authority for the Restoration and Renewal of the Houses of Parliament and is chairman of Lloyd-Webber Theatres’ restoration of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
Simon is a trustee of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and the British Library. He has been patron of the London Parks and Garden Trust since 2004 and played a role in setting up the Canal and River Trust, where he was a trustee until 2015.
Between 2002 and 2015 he was chief executive of English Heritage, responsible for the National Heritage Collection of 420 sites including Stonehenge and Dover Castle, as well as for the National Heritage Protection system, including the listing of buildings.
For five years from 1997 Simon was director of the Museum of London, the world’s largest city museum, and its archaeological unit MoLAS. For eight years in the 1990s he was Curator and Surveyor of the Fabric at Historic Royal Palaces, leading various projects including the Restoration of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court.
As a historian Simon has written thirteen books including a history of English Architecture, Building England and the story of heritage protection, Men from the Ministry.
In 2011 he was made CBE for services to heritage. He is married with two children and lives in Norfolk.