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About us

Fulham Palace Trust was established in April 2011 and is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

We lease the Fulham Palace estate from the head lessor, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF), which in turn leases it from the Church Commission. Both leases run until 2075.

Our business plan for the period 2017/18 – 2024/25 outlines the Trust’s vision and key aims:

Vision

To engage people, through the stories of Fulham Palace and the Bishops of London, in 6,000 years of English history, and to become one of the the UK’s most inclusive and inspiring historic houses and gardens.

Tag line

Home to a history that never stands still

Key aims
  1. To conserve and restore Fulham Palace house and garden following thorough analysis of options and sector best practice
  2. To develop the understanding of Fulham Palace’s layered history through research and engagement with expert, partners, users and the community
  3. To be inspirational, engaging and educational
  4. To delight our visitors through excellent customer service and high quality facilities, interpretation and events
  5. To be inclusive and participative in all areas of the Palace’s operation
  6. To be sustainable and financially self-sufficient
Patron of Fulham Palace

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall was our guest of honour at a Tudor themed dinner held in the great hall at Fulham Palace in October 2016. As the Palace was the historic home of the Bishop of London, this continues a long tradition of receiving royal guests.  It is known that Queen Elizabeth I visited Fulham Palace on at least two occasions and dined in the very same great hall.

Find out more about Her Royal Highness’s patronages and charitable activities.

Board of trustees

The Trust comprises 12 trustees, selected for their broad range of skills and experience, from PR, business and finance to heritage education, historic buildings, archaeology and horticulture.

Mariana Spater, chair
Mariana is a chartered accountant who, until recently, was managing director of Fountain Television Ltd, which was home to shows such as The X Factor. She has served as chair and board member for a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations over many years, including chair of the Royal Surgical Aid Society from 2010 to 2014. Mariana is currently chair of the M&S Energy Society and on the board of Wey Valley Solar, both of which seek to utilise  solar power for the benefit of stakeholders and local communities.

Victoria Quinlan, chair of finance, risk and audit committee 
Victoria is the European chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Lendlease, a global integrated property and infrastructure company, which started in Australia. Victoria has had a successful and eclectic career, starting as an accountant at Anderson (now known as Ernst & Young) before joining Lendlease in Australia. She moved to London in 2006 and joined the European business to focus on the financial and commercial elements of the residential, commercial and retail sectors. During the past nine years, she has held roles in finance, strategy, investment and operations. Victoria has a Bachelor of Commerce degree, a Bachelor of Arts degree, is a chartered accountant and has a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment from FINSIA.

Fiona Beatty
Fiona is the head of legal for the Royal Horticultural Society, where she advises the charity on legal, risk, governance and compliance matters. Before joining the Royal Horticultural Society, Fiona was a special counsel in the London office of Proskauer LLP, and previously worked in other law firms in London, Sydney and New York.  Fiona has a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Sydney and an LLM from Duke University, USA. Fiona moved to London with her family in 2014 and settled in Fulham. She is a passionate gardener and loves spending time with her family in the gardens of Fulham Palace.  Fiona joined the board of trustees to help support the great work that the staff and volunteers are doing to protect and preserve this important heritage site for future generations.

Phillip Emery FSA MCIfA
Philip Emery has been a professional archaeologist since 1986. Among his several publications are two books: Norwich Greyfriars: Pre-Conquest Town and Medieval Friary(2007) and St Pancras burial ground: excavations for St Pancras International, the London terminus of High Speed 1, 2002-3 (co-authored with Kevin Wooldridge, 2011), and a multi-authored paper in the Antiquaries Journal entitled ‘The King’s High Table at the Palace of Westminster’ (2012). He is a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and holds the post of senior heritage adviser at the Canal & River Trust. Philip first dug at Fulham Palace in 1986 and, collaborating with English Heritage and other key stakeholders, has overseen archaeological work at the site since 2004.

John King
A retired barrister, John has lived in Hammersmith for 36 years. He was for many years governor of Hammersmith, Phoenix and Burlington Danes Schools, and chair or vice chair of the Friends of Furnival Gardens since its inception. He has been chair or vice chair of Ravenscroft Ward of the Labour Party for 30 years. He is currently a member of the Hammersmith Residents’ Working Party.

Alison Lightbown
Alison studied History of Art at the University of Leeds and Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Between 1998-2003 Alison was involved in developing programmes for families, schools, young people, adults and community groups at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Barbican Centre. In 2003 Alison joined the Geffrye as education officer responsible for access and public programmes, later becoming head of learning and engagement. She is now the head of explorer programmes with Historic Royal Palaces, where she is responsible for the development and delivery of informal and formal learning for children and young people at each of the palaces.  She regularly runs skill sharing activities, lectures and publishes papers on subjects relating to museum education and community participation. Alison is an honorary lecturer at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. Alison has a particular interest in supporting the development of Fulham Palace as a centre for life-long learning and as an important community resource.

Fiona McWilliams
Fiona is executive director of development at the Natural History Museum. A member of the museum’s executive board, Fiona’s responsibilities also include building relationships and income streams from philanthropists and companies to help the museum achieve its strategic aims. She has also held senior development roles at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and SOAS, University of London, where she was responsible for the university’s external communications, marketing, student recruitment and development functions. The first part of Fiona’s career was in public relations and marketing in international television. She lives locally to Fulham and has a long-held interest in heritage buildings and gardens and the stories that bring them to life for visitors.

Caroline Needham
Caroline is interested in reducing child poverty and supporting and promoting initiatives to promote equalities and combat injustice. She was until recently a Labour councillor in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Caroline has a MSc in Life Course Development and wrote the book ‘Teach Yourself Grandparenting’ when working as the London organiser for the Grandparents Association (2008). Her work as social policy research manager for Help the Aged has given her an ongoing interest in research into ageing which includes serving on a scientific advisory panel for the International Centre for Lifecourse Studies at UCL.

Kevin Rogers
Kevin studied Design History at the Royal College of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Since 1995 he has worked as a curator and architectural historian and is the author of historic building studies and conservation plans. Working as a curator for the National Trust, 1995-2002, he contributed to the understanding of collections, houses and their landscape setting including Stowe, Osterley Park and The Vyne. In 2002 as deputy director of the World Monuments Fund in Britain he initiated the restoration of Strawberry Hill together with a group of local residents. He carried this forward at Inskip & Jenkins Architects, where he was an associate- historian for nine years, as well as working on other large-scale restoration projects such as St George’s Bloomsbury. In 2016, Kevin was appointed as the head of parish property support for the Diocese of London, and is responsible for the upkeep and development of the Diocese’ church buildings and residential properties. He originally hails from the USA, cutting his teeth as an intern at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

Reverend Penny Seabrook
Penny has been the vicar of All Saints Church since June 2019, having previously served the parish for ten years, as Associate Vicar. She was ordained in 2003 after doing an MA at Kings College London, and studying for a further three years at the South East Institute for Theology, but did her first degree many years ago at Oxford, where she read PPE. Penny worked in publishing as a commissioning editor and writer after Oxford, going freelance when the first of her four (now adult) children was born. She is a proud granny of five, who love exploring Fulham Palace when visiting her in Fulham.

Robbie Sommerville
Robbie is managing director of corporate affairs at Macquarie Group, a diversified financial services group. Robbie joined Macquarie in 2013 and is responsible for internal and external communication across the commodities and global markets business. He previously worked in leadership communication for Rio Tinto and in senior corporate communication roles with HSBC and Royal Bank of Canada. Robbie holds a BA in Politics from the University of Leicester and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and Chartered Institute of Public Relations. He is also a passionate advocate for Dallaglio Rugbyworks an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby, which aims to get teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training.

Fulham Palace would like to acknowledge the support of Nurole in advertising and recruiting for our recent Trustee positions.

Company secretary and chief executive officer

Siân Harrington, chief executive officer and company secretary
Siân joined Fulham Palace Trust in November 2011. She holds a degree in Anthropology, an MA in Museum Studies and an MBA. She has been working in museums and heritage since her first role as a volunteer collections assistant at Durham University Oriental Museum in 1986. Previous roles have included ten years as a property manager in the National Trust, and as a curator and heritage development manager in local authority museums. Sian lives in Hackney and tries to find time for yoga, travelling and enjoying good food and wine.


Annual report and accounts for Fulham Palace Trust