Oliver was born in Oxford in November 1986 to an archaeologist and Open University academic. The youngest of four children, each named after a mountain or hill in the four nations of the British Isles, he grew up in the Georgian market town of Buckingham, and South Northamptonshire. He was educated at the London School of Economics (BSc), and King’s College, London (MA).

Following a gap year travelling by train across India and, separately, the Sudan, Oliver developed a love of travel which is reflected in the subjects of his photography. His interests, beyond a passion for history, are the life and works of George Orwell; John Steinbeck; and the architect Edwin Lutyens. He also collects and restores antiquarian books.

A conservation campaigner, he is a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings; The Churches Conservation Trust; the National Piers Society; the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia; and The Lutyens’ Trust. He was a Conservative candidate in the 2015 General Election.

Oliver lives between St. John’s, London, and Montgomery, Powys.