Merlin Waterson is the author of books on the history of conservation, domestic service and country houses. For over thirty years he was on the staff of the National Trust, latterly a Director of Historic Properties; was Chairman of the Architectural Fund; and a Commissioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. He is on the Advisory Panel of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. His wood engravings have been exhibited widely in this country and abroad. In 2005 he was awarded the CBE for services to heritage.