I was brought
up and educated at Maidenhead in Berkshire, a town to the west of London and situated
on the River Thames. From here, I went to University College, Cardiff, where I
gained a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Archaeology. It is easy to get hooked
by field archaeology, and I spent all of my Cardiff vacations on digs, mainly at
the Roman town of Usk in south Wales. After graduating, I went to work as a field
archaeologist at Milton Keynes, where a huge amount of excavation and field survey
was being done in advance of building a new town. This is where I met Lesley, and
we next moved to south London and worked together on the major excavation of a
prehistoric settlement and Roman villa site at Beddington near Croydon.
By now we were employed as field archaeologists by the Museum of London, but
changes were afoot. We therefore decided to take a huge risk and set up as
freelance archaeological consultants in Somerset, undertaking archaeological
assessments by documentary research and excavation, as well as providing expert
evidence on archaeological matters for public inquiries. We also became involved
in the editing, copy-editing and indexing of archaeology and history books, as
well as writing our own books. We already had two books published and were
working on a third when we moved to Somerset. Although we took on all sorts
of archaeological work and were constantly busy doing up a derelict house,
we kept on writing books at the same time, because that aspect of our work
gave the most satisfaction.
We also enjoyed taking groups on archaeological and historical tours within the UK,
and became increasingly interested in photography – and now run our own picture
The New Millennium brought more changes, because we moved to Devon and began to
write more-or-less full-time. Some things haven’t altered, as we’re still
involved in doing up yet another decaying house, but this time with a much
larger garden of several acres. Our latest book to be published is
Jack Tar: Life in Nelson's Navy, published in paperback as Jack Tar:
The extraordinary lives of ordinary seamen in Nelson's navy.
Our next book to be published will be Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England.
We are both Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of London (a society that
was founded in 1707 and received its Royal Charter from King George II in 1751).
We are also Members of the Institute for Archaeologists and of the Society