Charles Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh (1905-1985)
Charles Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh was a respected figure in the architectural profession known for his interests in preservation and literary contributions. He studied architecture at University College, London and apprenticed under notable architects early in his career. His first published item, a folding illustration forty inches in length depicting successive styles of urban buildings mostly of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was included in Sir John Betjeman’s 1933 book, Ghastly Good Taste.
Due to his aristocratic pedigree, Fleetwood-Hesketh first served in the yeomanry and then as a liaison officer with maquis guerilla fighters in occupied France. He was later transferred to the MFAA division in Austria and given responsibility for operations at Schönbrunn Palace, the historical and lavish residence of the Habsburg royals in Vienna, including its conversion to serve as headquarters for the British Allied Commission of Austria. Part of that preparation included the safe return of the palace’s original furnishings, which had been dispersed and stored throughout Austria during the war.
Fleetwood-Hesketh returned to his home town of Lancashire, England after the war where he became active in his community and architectural studies once again. From 1947-1968 he was an honorary representative of the National Trust in the Lancashire area and also served as High Sherriff of the county in 1960 before becoming Deputy Lieutenant from 1961-1964. He authored several more architectural publications including, English Parish Churches and Murray’s Architectural Guide to Lancashire. Fleetwood-Hesketh also took interest in architectural preservation, becoming a founding member of the Georgian Group and the Victorian Society (secretary from 1961-1963) in 1958. Both organizations safeguarded against the architectural destruction of their respected styles in England. Charles Peter Fleetwood-Hesketh passed away February 10, 1985 at the age of 80.
Photo courtesy of the Victorian Society.