OBITUARY: Philip Jebb

Click to follow
The Independent Online
I first came across Philip Jebb when he was a boy in a jersey at the house of his grandfather Hilaire Belloc, in Sussex; and next when he was courting Lucy Pollen, whom he was lucky enough to marry, writes Sir John Smith.

In the late 1960s he became the Landmark Trust's principal architect, working in due course on 37 of its buildings. Some of these caused him a lot of time-consuming trouble; to reach Fort Clonque he had to fly to Alderney, and then wait for the tide; to reach Lundy he had to drive to North Devon and catch the ship which, if it was able to sail, was often unable to land him - or unable to take him off again. During one enforced stay he took part in the then annual cricket match between Lundy and the Rest of the World.

As an architect, he was painstaking, methodical, sympathetic and capable; his relations with his clients, and with builders, were invariably good and successful. With him there were never any misunderstandings, or other dramas either during the work or afterwards. He understood English classical architecture perfectly, but he was also had a sense of fitness which enabled him to tackle buildings of other periods - such as the medieval rectory at Iffley, Oxford. Although he was determined never to give offence, he disliked bureaucracy. I remember his disgust with a letter from some official which began ``The initial difficulty is . . .'' Throughout his life he seemed to me the perfect advertisement for a Catholic upbringing and education - humane and understanding, with an inner certainty and self-discipline that allowed him to be humble. He was a wonderful friend.

Philip Vincent Belloc Jebb, architect: born London 15 March 1927; married 1955 Lucy Pollen (two sons, two daughters); died Bucklebury, Berkshire 7 April 1995.