Dan Cruickshank

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Dan Cruickshank
Dan Cruickshank.jpg
Dan Cruickshank signs an autograph at The Holiday & Travel Show 2009 at Birmingham's NEC.
Daniel Gordon Raffan Cruickshank[1]

(1949-08-26) 26 August 1949 (age 72)
  • Art historian
  • Television presenter
  • Author

Daniel Gordon Raffan Cruickshank (born 26 August 1949) is a British art historian and BBC television presenter, with a special interest in the history of architecture.

Professional career[edit]

Cruickshank holds a BA in Art, Design and Architecture[2] and was formerly a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Sheffield[3] and a member of the London faculty of the University of Delaware. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Artists, a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgian Group and on the Architectural Panel of the National Trust, and is an Honorary Fellow of RIBA.[2]

He has served as Historic Buildings Consultant for ADAM Architecture since 1999 and has been involved in the repair and restoration of many historical buildings including Spencer House in St James's, Heveningham Hall in Suffolk and numerous early 18th-century houses in Spitalfields and other parts of London.[4]

In 2014 he was appointed President of Subterranea Britannica, a UK-based society for all those interested in man-made and man-used underground structures and space.[5]

His professional publications include London: the Art of Georgian Building (1975),[6] The National Trust and Irish Georgian Society Guide to the Georgian Buildings of Britain and Ireland (1985) and Life in the Georgian City (1990). He edited the 20th edition of Sir Banister Fletcher's History of Architecture and Timeless Architecture: a study of key buildings in architectural history and is a contributing editor to Architects' Journal, The Architectural Review and Perspectives on Architecture.

Television work[edit]

Cruickshank began his career with the BBC as consultant, writer and presenter on the architectural programmes One Foot in the Past and The House Detectives. He also contributed films to the Timewatch [7] and Omnibus strands.[citation needed]

In 2001 he wrote and presented the series Invasion in which he examined attempts and plans to invade Britain and Ireland over the years by exploring coastal fortresses and defensive structures around the coast of the country to discover their military heritage.

Further series included Britain's Best Buildings examining architecturally – or culturally-significant buildings in Great Britain, Under Fire visiting museums and buildings in Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel to see how recent warfare has affected the country's historic artefacts, and What the Industrial Revolution Did for Us focusing on the scientific, technological and political changes of the 19th century.

In 2003, Cruickshank presented a documentary entitled Towering Ambitions: Dan Cruickshank at Ground Zero following the debate and discussion that led to the selection of Daniel Libeskind's design for the World Trade Center site in New York City; while in 2005 he presented a documentary on the Mitchell and Kenyon collection – rolls of nitrate film shot in the early 20th century, depicting everyday life in Britain, which were discovered in 1994 in Blackburn.

In 2004, Cruickshank was at the centre of a controversy when historian Marc Morris said that a documentary about Harlech Castle shown on BBC4 and billed as "written and presented by Dan Cruickshank" contained obvious borrowings from Morris's earlier Channel 4 series, Castle. The BBC subsequently stated that Cruickshank was not responsible and that it was an error by researchers.[8] Channel 4's head of history programming, Hamish Mykura, commented that "When a programme claims to have an author's voice, it should be that author's voice and no one else's". The BBC subsequently made a "goodwill payment" to Morris in recognition of the error.[citation needed]

In 2005, Cruickshank presented Around the World in 80 Treasures, charting his five-month trip around the world to visit eighty man-made artefacts or buildings that he had selected, in order to chart the history of mankind's civilisation.

In 2006, Cruickshank presented Marvels of the Modern Age, a series focusing on the development of modernism in design, from Greek and Roman architecture, to Bauhaus and the present.

Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture, a 2008 series in which he travelled around the world visiting what he considered to be the world's most unusual and interesting buildings.

In 2010, he embarked on a 3 part series on the history of the railways in Britain for National Geographic TV channel, including visits to Chester to examine the events surrounding the Dee bridge disaster of 1847, and Manchester for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway which opened in 1830. The series was entitled "Great Railway Adventures" and first appeared on UK television in the spring of 2010. In 2014, he appeared in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern as himself.

Personal life[edit]

Cruickshank lives in a Georgian house in Spitalfields, London, which he shares with his partner, the painter Marenka Gabeler, their son, and his daughter from a previous marriage.[9] The house was among those he featured when presenting the BBC television programme Ours to Keep – Incomers in 1985, when he discussed the role of the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, a charity of which he was a co-founder in the 1970s.

Cruickshank had previously lived in a Victorian house in Bloomsbury when he was a student in the 1970s.[10]



  • Cruickshank, Dan; Wyld, Peter (1975). London: the Art of Georgian Building. The Architectural Press.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Amery, Colin (1975). The Rape of Britain. Elek (Paul) (Scientific Books). ISBN 978-0-236-31019-7.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (1985). National Trust and the Irish Georgian Society Guide to Georgian Buildings of Britain and Ireland. Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated. ISBN 978-0-297-78610-8.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Burton, Neil (1990). Life in the Georgian City. Viking Press. ISBN 978-0-670-81266-0.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Rivers, Tony; Darley, Gillian; Pawley, Martin (1993). The Name of the Room: History of the British House and Home. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-36321-7.
  • Cruickshank, Dan, ed. (1996). Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture (20th ed.). Architectural Press. ISBN 978-0-7506-2267-7.
  • Cruickshank, Dan, ed. (2000). Architecture: The Critics' Choice. Aurum Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85410-720-6.
  • Cruickshank, Dan, ed. (2001). Invasion: Defending Britain from Attack. Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7522-2029-1.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2002). The Story of Britain's Best Buildings. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48823-1.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Vincent, David (2003). Under Fire. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48768-5.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2004). The Royal Hospital Chelsea: The Place and the People. Third Millennium. ISBN 978-1-903942-27-7.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Jackson, Nicola; Burdett, Ricky (2004). Building the BBC: A Return to Form. Wordsearch Communications. ISBN 978-1-86000-221-2.
  • Cruickshank, Dan; Brindle, Steven (2005). Brunel: The Man Who Built the World. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84408-2.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2005). Around the World in Eighty Treasures. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84399-3.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2008). Adventures in Architecture. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84444-0.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2009). The Secret History of Georgian London: how the wages of sin shaped the capital. Random House. ISBN 978-1-84794-537-2. (Also released under the title London's Sinful Secret by St. Martin's Press in New York in the same year)
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2011). The Country House Revealed: a secret history of the British ancestral home. BBC. ISBN 9781849902069.
  • Cruickshank, Dan (2016). Spitalfields : two thousand years of English history in one neighbourhood. Random House. ISBN 9781847947079.


  1. ^ "Daniel Gordon Raffan CRUICKSHANK - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Bio". Celebrity Productions. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Professor Dan Cruickshank Biography". Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  5. ^ "About Subterranea Britannica". Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  6. ^ Cruickshank, Dan; Wyld, Peter (1975). London, the Art of Georgian Building. ISBN 9780803801431.
  7. ^ "BBC Two - Timewatch, 2001-2002, the Victorian Way of Death: From Body Snatching to Burning".
  8. ^ "Broadcaster gets apology from BBC as history repeats itself", The Guardian, 28 May 2004. Accessed 16 January 2014
  9. ^ Duncan, Alistair (15 November 2009). "My Space: Dan Cruickshank, historian". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  10. ^ Greenstreet, Rosanna. "Dan Cruickshank reflects on his student flat in Bloomsbury".
  11. ^ "The Art of Dying, BBC Four". 30 September 2009.
  12. ^ "Dan Cruickshank and the Family That Built Gothic Britain - BBC Four". BBC.
  13. ^ "Dan Cruickshank's Civilisation Under Attack, BBC Four". www.theartsdesk.com. July 2015.
  14. ^ "Wednesday's best TV: Dan Cruickshank: Resurrecting History – Warsaw". The Guardian. 2 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British". www.hayfestival.com.
  16. ^ ""When I think of IS, I detest them beyond imagination": war photographer Don McCullin heads to Syria for new BBC4 documentary". www.radiotimes.com.
  17. ^ "Dan Cruickshank's Monuments of Remembrance". www.bbc.co.uk.

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