The Mary Rose Board of Trustees | The Mary Rose

Meet the Board of Trustees

Nigel Purse


Nigel comes from a humble family in which his father was a postman and his mother a cleaner. He was awarded a Scholarship to Berkhamsted School and an Exhibition to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He has an MBA from City University Business School.

He has enjoyed a 38 year career in finance and investment, focussing on the funding and development of infrastructure and climate impact finance.

He was a member of the fund raising committee for the Mary Rose museum and was one of the original Trustees of the Mary Rose Permanent Endowment Fund. Nigel became Chairman of the Mary Rose Trust on the 23rd of July 2021. He chairs the Oxford University History Faculty Development Panel and is also the Chair of the National Paralympic Heritage Trust.

Dominic Jones
Chief Executive


Dominic was recruited to the Mary Rose in 2019 ago as Chief Operating Officer, and became CEO in 2021.  He brings an excellent background in commercial visitor attractions (Disney, Merlin) and creative visitor experience development. 

During his time at the Mary Rose, he has already driven an excellent commercial and operational performance and worked closely with previous Chief Executive to create the new Portsmouth Historic Dockyard joint venture with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which launched successfully in August 2020.  

Dr Robert Bewley
Deputy Chairman

Robert was appointed a Trustee in 2014, and became Deputy Chairman on 23rd July 2021. He joined the Heritage Lottery Fund as Director of Operations in May 2007. Prior to this he worked as Regional Director for English Heritage in the South West, and before that as Head of Survey for English Heritage.

He trained as an archaeologist (at Manchester and Cambridge Universities) BA, MPhil and PhD.   His research interests are all in periods of archaeology but in particular prehistory, landscape archaeology and the Middle East. He has worked in over a dozen European countries as well as Oman, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Jordan. From 2015-2020 he was the Director of the Endangered Archaeology of the the Middle East and North Africa Project (EAMENA) based in the University of Oxford.

Holder of a UK Private Pilot's Licence (Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron, RAF. 1976-1978), and a Jordanian Private Pilot’s Licence (Issued October 2001).

Through his work in the heritage sector he has been recognised as an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL and an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Perth, Western Australia. He is currently the Director of the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan and Oman projects and Research Associate at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford.

Chris Brandon RIBA FRSA FSA

Chris, an architect, began his career at Powell Moya. He went on to become a partner of Michaelis Brandon Architects and Solar Energy Developments, where he was involved in innovative, low-energy projects.

In 1986 he co-founded Pringle Brandon, now Perkins+Will, an award winning international architectural firm. He retired in 2020 and now works as an architectural consultant and sculptor. Chris was the interior architect for the Mary Rose museum.  He is a past chairman of the Nautical Archaeology Society, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, he is on the Council of the Society for Nautical Research, Chairman of the Maritime Heritage Committee, and represents the SNR on the Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee.  He is a Co-Director of the Roman Maritime Concrete Study and Co-Author of the book Building for Eternity: The History and Technology of Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea

Chris was appointed as a Trustee in 2013.

Adam Humphryes

Adam Humphryes is a chartered accountant with an MBA from London Business School, who has held senior board positions in private sector companies. He is presently Vice-Chairman of Crown lodge Management Ltd, a property management company.

He was Chairman of CityWest Homes, a development and property management company in Westminster, managing twenty-two thousand properties. He was a Trustee of Work this Way, providing training, work experience, employment and mentoring for offenders at Ford Open prison. Adam was Finance Director and a major shareholder in private equity backed Wightlink Ferries Ltd. With two partners, he started the first local television company in the UK, which was subsequently listed on AIM. He was also a Governor of Portsmouth University and a Board member of Drum Housing Association. 

Adam joined the Mary Trust Board of Trustees in 2013 and is Chairman of the Trust’s Finance and Audit Committee.

Professor Suzannah Lipscomb

Suzannah is Professor Emerita of History at the University of Roehampton, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, and a columnist for History Today. She is the author of five books on the sixteenth century, including The King is Dead: The Last Will and Testament of Henry VIII (2015), 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII (2009) and A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England (2012). She holds a double First, MSt, and DPhil in History from Lincoln and Balliol Colleges, Oxford, and her work in the heritage sector has won awards, including the National Trust’s recent exhibition, We Are Bess, for which she was Creative Director.

Suzannah has presented numerous mainstream TV programmes on the BBC, ITV, Channel Five, UKTV, and National Geographic, including Henry and Anne: The Lovers Who Changed History; Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder; Henry VIII and His Six Wives; Elizabeth I, and Walking Tudor England, and was a resident historian on BBC 2’s comedy panel show Insert Name Here and Channel 4’s Time Team. She has a strong social media presence under the handle @sixteenthCgirl, with over 140,000 followers on Twitter, demonstrating her widespread appeal as a historian. She has happily been a Trustee of the Mary Rose since 2020.

Tim Rusby

Tim is the Managing Director of The Visitor Attraction Company. For well over thirty years Tim has led the planning, design, construction, launch and operation of commercially-led visitor attraction development projects.

Having worked on all sides of the leisure and attraction project table; as a client and a developer, attraction owner & operator, delivery contractor and development consultant, Tim has a uniquely rounded knowledge of what makes attractions and leisure destinations tick, especially in complex, multi-stakeholder organisation and environments.

Tim works with private sector operators, developers and investors, brand and IP owners, local authorities, national governments, and a wide range of not-for-profit, charities and trusts.

Tim has uniquely diverse experience of museums and heritage centres, historic properties, theme and amusement parks, zoos and aquariums, retail destinations, mixed use developments, sports and adventure amenities and parklands & public realm projects.

Tim now specialises in heading up place-making initiatives – leading projects through the planning, design, creation and management of compelling places for people to visit; developing locations into popular destinations that promote visitors’ enjoyment, enrichment, assess and usage and improving sites to enhance their popularity or profitability.

Outside of his ‘day job’ Tim serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust.  He joined the Mary Rose Trust as a Trustee-Director in 2018.

Professor Terry Stevens

Originally from East Coker in Somerset, now living in Swansea. His mother and father served in the Royal Navy as did both grandfathers. Terry is the founder of the multi-award winning international tourism consultancy, Stevens & Associates and has now worked in over 50 countries. His clients include national and regional tourism organisations, international development agencies, as well as many private sector businesses. He has held professorial posts at a number of universities and is currently Visiting Professor at the Technical University of the Shannon (Ireland). He has over 350 publications to his name and numerous books on tourism including Wish You Were Here: The Stories behind 50 of the world’s great destinations, Wish You Were Here Europe, and Tourism Facing the Pandemic.

 The villages of East Coker and West Coker have a strong heritage associated with the sea. For over 400 years these two communities produced the best sail cloth in the world – the canvas of choice of Lord Nelson, The Kaiser, and Sir Thomas Lipton when he become involved with the America’s Cup. As a Trustee of the Coker Rope and Canvas Trust, he has been part of the team that has restored the Dawes Twine and Ropeworks in West Coker – the winner of the  Association for Industrial Archaeology 2022 Community Engagement Award.

Sophia Weston

Educated at Durham University, Sophia has worked in publishing and journalism in addition to over 25 years’ experience in transformational grant making. 

Sophia managed The Garfield Weston Foundation during the latter years of her father Garry Weston’s chairmanship before she became a Trustee in 1994. 

Sophia joined the Mary Rose Trust Board in 2017 and is a member of the Development Board for the National Portrait Gallery. 

She is married and has three children.