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Andrew Saunders (22 September 1931 - 13 March 2009) was an internationally recognised expert in artillery fortifications and Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings in the UK between 1973 and 1989.


Early life

Andrew Saunders was born at St Austell, Cornwall on the 22 September 1931. His education was initially carried out at Magdalen College School, Oxford which was followed by his National Service in the RAF. On returning to civilian life Saunders enrolled at Magdalen College to read History. During his time at university Saunders was president of the Archaeology Society and enjoyed rugby and rowing for his college.

Professional career

Saunders joined the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate in 1954 where his work revolved around the conservation and guardianship castles and monastic buildings. He also took part in archaeological excavations such as that at Castle Gotha near St Austell. As part of his work, in 1956 he carried out a rapid assessment of the mainly 19th century fortifications vacated that year by the army with the abolition of Coastal Artillery. The report Saunders submitted lead to the decision to take into care certain important examples of military architecture such as Fort Brockhurst and the Western Heights at Dover. The survey started what became a lifelong specialisation of Saunders' work in the study of artillery fortification.

In 1964 Saunders was promoted to Inspector of Ancient Monuments for England becoming responsible for the care of over four hundred monuments throughout England. In 1973 Saunders was promoted again to Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings, a position he held until his retirement in 1989.

Later life

Saunders was an active member of a number of historical and archaeological groups both during his working life and after his retirement in 1989. His roles included president of the Cornwall Archaeological Society (1968-1972), founder member and later chairman of the Fortress Study Group (1995-2001), and founder and editor of the quarterly publication, 'Fortress'. Saunders was also a long serving council member of the Royal Archaeological Institute and president between 1993 and 1996 and chairman of the advisory panel for the Defence of Britain Project.[1] The international reputation Saunders held lead to him being appointed chairman of the International Fortress Council between 1995 and 1998.


  • "Fortress Britain", Beaufort, 1989, ISBN 1855120003
  • "Book of Channel Defences", English Heritage, London, 1997, ISBN 0713475951
  • "Fortress Builder: Bernard de Gomme: Charles II's Military Engineer", University of Exeter Press, 2004, ISBN 0859897516


  • Casemate, (85), 2009, pg6

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