Tributes to ‘calm and courageous’ Kenilworth historian

MHLC-21-05-13 Wilton May65'History Society have published a book on history of the new wilton house, which is being developed.'Pictured from the left,Henrietta Denny, Norman Stevens,Town Mayor,Cllr Felicity Bunker,Graham Gould,The Author, Richard Morris, with his book, and Philip Fletcher (developer McCarthy and stone). ENGNNL00120130522092139
MHLC-21-05-13 Wilton May65'History Society have published a book on history of the new wilton house, which is being developed.'Pictured from the left,Henrietta Denny, Norman Stevens,Town Mayor,Cllr Felicity Bunker,Graham Gould,The Author, Richard Morris, with his book, and Philip Fletcher (developer McCarthy and stone). ENGNNL00120130522092139

Tributes have flooded in for a renowned and popular town historian who died at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer.

Dr Richard Morris died “peacefully in his sleep” on January 7 after being cared for at Myton Hospice in Warwick during his final weeks.

The well-known and highly respected historian was involved with many conservation projects, as well as being an active member of Kenilworth History and Archeological Society and chair of Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee.

Dr Morris leaves behind his wife Jenny, three children and two grandchildren as well as countless friends and colleagues in the town.

He wrote on historical sites of interest for publications across the country and was research associate and reader in History of Art at the University of Warwick from 1974 until his retirement in 2001.

Most recently, he helped to launch the Harry Sunley Memorial project to improve the Abbey Barn Museum - a project close to his heart. Also a keen, cyclist Dr Morris was involved in activities with Kenilworth Cycleways.

Speaking since his death, Dr Louise Bourdua from the university’s art history department said she was “saddened” to hear of the death of her former colleague.

“Richard was an architectural historian and buildings archaeologist who played a significant role in the establishment of the department and its international reputation for the architectural history of England,” she said.

“Despite having had to take ill-health retirement in 2001, he remained active in research and among other projects, developed the Warwick Mouldings Archive, a paper archive of full-size moulding profiles from standing structures in England and Wales.

“Richard was calm and courageous and devoid of self-pity. He quietly got on with editing the Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society despite being struck again by illness and passed away peacefully in his sleep.”

In the history society’s January newsletter, friend and colleague Norman Stevens wrote: “In terms of his knowledge and expertise in the fields of archaeology, architecture and fine arts, Richard was a giant among men. Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society is impoverished by his passing.”

Kenilworth Town Councillors also paid tribute to the well-known resident, speaking at their last meeting to remember all he did for the town and pay their respects.

Donations to the Harry Sunley Memorial Project or Myton Hospice can be made via John Taylor Funeral Service, 178 Warwick Road.