I was a pupil of David Watkin and am very sad to hear of his unexpected death, although I knew that he had been extremely ill.
I was taught by him in the Michaelmas Term 1974, four weeks only, in a joint supervision with Malcolm Ramsay, who was at Peterhouse, did his dissertation on prisons, and became a government criminologist. I think I may have also been supervised for a paper on Approaches to the History of Architecture. It was the high noon of David’s – and, to an extent, Cambridge’s – conservative reaction to the 1960s and everything it stood for. He was aggressively conservative and part of a group which included Ed Shils, the Chicago sociologist, Roger Scruton, Edward Norman and John Casey, mostly based at Peterhouse.
I was greatly influenced by him – his deep love and knowledge of classical architecture, his support for his pupils, and his interest in them beyond the requirement of supervisions. I was later regarded as having gone to the bad, lost to his version of intense, high minded, but doctrinaire scholarship.
But I remain grateful to him.