Peter Megaw

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Arthur Hubert Stanley 'Peter' Megaw, CBE (20 July 1910 – 28 June 2006) was an architectural historian and archaeologist. He specialised in Byzantine churches. He served as Director of the British School at Athens from 1962 to 1968.

Early life[edit]

Megaw was born on 20 July 1910 at Portobello House nursing home in Portobello, Dublin, Ireland. He was the second of four sons of Arthur Stanley Megaw, a solicitor, and his wife, Helen Isabel Bertha Megaw (née Smith). Between 1924 and 1928, he was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, a boys boarding school. He went on to read architecture at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. He graduated in 1931 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) which was later promoted to Master of Arts (MA).[1]

Academic career[edit]

Megaw never held an academic post at a university.[2] He spent 75 years 'working on the study and preservation of the monuments of the Christian East'.[3]

He first joined the British School at Athens as Walston Student in 1931,[3] to study Byzantine architecture.[1] He served as the first[4] Director of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus between 1935 and 1960.[3] With the independence of Cyprus form British Rule in 1960, he spent two short, successive posts at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, United States of America and at the Byzantine Institute of America in Istanbul, Turkey.[1] He served as Director of the British School at Athens from 1962 to 1968.[3] Following his early retirement from the directorship, he joined the Harvard Centre for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks as a visiting scholar. He spent the reaming years of the 1960s and the 1970s splitting his time between Cyprus and the United States.[2]

Later life[edit]

Megaw died of cancer on 28 June 2006 at his London home in Hampstead. He was cremated on 20 July 2006 at Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Megaw was known to his friends and colleagues as Peter.[5]

In 1937, he married Elektra Elena Mangoletsi. She was an artist who was born in 1905. She died in 1993, therefore predeceasing him. They did not have any children.[1]


In June 1949, he was appointed Serving Brother of the Venerable Order of Saint John (SBStJ).[6] In the 1951 King's Birthday Honours, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).[7] He was promoted to Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John (CStJ) in September 1967.[8]

In 1995, the Society of Antiquaries of London awarded him the Frend medal. This is an award for studies related to the archaeology, history and topography of the early Christian Church.[1] The book Mosaic: festschrift for A.H.S. Megaw was published in 2001 in his honour.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Catling, Hector (January 2010). "Arthur Megaw". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Peter Megaw". The Times. 4 August 2006. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Catling, Hector (2007). "A. H. S. Megaw (1910-2006): A Memoir". The Annual of the British School at Athens 102: 1–10. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hector Catling". The Telegraph. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Robin Sinclair Cormack". Oral History Project. Dumbarton Oaks - Research Library and Collection. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 38650. p. 3132. 24 June 1949. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39243. p. 3083. 1 June 1951. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44404. p. 9801. 8 September 1967. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  9. ^ Judith Herrin, Margaret Mullett, and Catherine Otten-Froux, ed. (2001). Mosaic: festschrift for A.H.S. Megaw. British School at Athens. ISBN 0904887405.