Stephen Weeks

Writer and Conservationist

Topic: Romanesque & Gothic

Stephen Weeks has been a conservationist since 1965 when he got the demolition of a listed building by a local authority halted by a central government in Wales. At the same time, Stephen contributed to the TV series on Industrial Archaeology by BBC - promoting the notion of heritage preservation to the public.

Between 1970 – 1973 he was active in promoting conservation and careful re-use of redundant churches in Wales and England, illustrated The Redundant Churches Calendar to publicise the plight of these redundant churches. He also bought, restored and opened to the public the derelict Norman border castle of Penhow in Monmouthshire. The work won many awards including Prince of Wales Award, Europa Nostra Award, Wales Tourist Board Gold Medal and three Sandford Awards for Heritage Education.

Between 1973 and 1991 Stephen continued to write scripts for TV programs about conservation on which he was also a presenter, published several books on the subject, recorded numerous audio guides for historical sites in the UK and completed design and project management work on numerous restoration projects in the UK.

In 1991 he set up Monumental Trust Ltd, a not-for-profit body of which Weeks is a director, to undertake rescue projects of buildings, structures or landscapes in danger. The first project was the acquisition of 9 redundant railway viaducts, for which new uses have been found.

In 1995 Stephen started to work in Prague at the invitation of the Czech government, worked on strategies to regenerate deprived towns by starting a chain of restored castles to create regional tourism in the Republic, in the manner of the Spanish Paradores.

In 1998 he set up Monumental Trust Bohemia s.r.o. to undertake the Czech castles renovations projects. In the same year, he travelled to Bangalore in India to consult for the Maharajah of Mysore about the future of Bangalore Palace.

In 2003 Stephen moved to Prague. He has written 7 novels, several film scripts and he devised the strategy for and restored Zamek Loucen as a museum/heritage attraction, which opened in 2007 and has become very successful.  During this period Stephen also worked on similar restoration projects in France.

His cinema feature films, as director, include Ghost Story and Sword of the Valiant, and also TV documentaries (including award-winning Scars).

Weeks is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, served for 24 years on various committees of the Historic Houses Association and was Vice-Chairman for Wales for 4 years. He also has served on the committees of various local conservation/museum bodies in South Wales.