Centre for Regional and Local History


Diversity, Identity and Social Change in South Wales, 1730-1830

Angela Muir's Diversity, Identity and Social Change in South Wales project examines the ways in which urbanisation, industrialisation and expanding global networks in south Wales affected sociability amongst the lower and middling orders of society through analysis of social conflict and interpersonal violence found in depositions from the Court of Great Sessions between 1730 and 1830. By focusing on the identities of witnesses, prosecutors and accused, the project will also test the hypothesis that Wales was more diverse and more globally connected in the 18th and early 19th centuries than has previously been understood. Few studies have examined the ways in which the dramatic change that defined this period affected the everyday lives and social interactions of men and women in Wales, and none have considered the extent to which the imperial expansion that drove this change brought with it religious and ethnic diversity. These are the gaps that this research aims to fill.

Conflict, Welfare and Memory during and after the English Civil Wars, 1642-1710

The Conflict, Welfare and Memory project is an AHRC-funded 4 year project that uncovers the human cost of the Civil Wars by investigating how maimed soldiers and war widows petitioned for pensions and gratuities from the Long Parliament, the Protectorate and the Restoration regimes. Professor Andrew Hopper is the Principal Investigator, with co-investigators Dr David Appleby (University of Nottingham), Dr Lloyd Bowen (University of Cardiff) and Professor Mark Stoyle (University of Southampton). The project website is maintained by the Multimedia Online Data Service at the University of Nottingham. The website provides access to a database of claimants to military welfare, including photographs and transcriptions of their petitions. The research will support a monograph, an edited volume and several journal articles. There will also be an education website entitled 'Death and Survival in the Civil Wars', and a series of educational events at the National Civil War Centre.

Flood and Flow: Place Names and the Changing Hydrology of River Systems

Flood and Flow was a two-year interdisciplinary research project, funded by The Leverhulme Trust (2016-2018). The project was based at the Centre, but drew on expertise from the Institute of Name Studies at the University of Nottingham, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University of Wales, and the School of Geography at the University of Southampton.

Flooding, linked to climate change, is recognised in the Committee for Climate Change Risk Assessment Report 2017 as the single largest environmental threat to the UK. In England alone, 5.2 million homes are now at risk from flooding, a figure expected to rise significantly in the next few decades. In 2014 the annual cost of flood damage was placed at £1.1 billion and predicted to rise to £27 billion by 2080.

Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse

This was a Wellcome Trust funded interdisciplinary project, involving Professor Peter King, on the Power and Uses of the Criminal Corpse and on attitudes to the corpse and its parts (2011-2016). The main focus of the project was the British experience and the period between the Murder Act of 1752 and the Anatomy Act of 1832 when the bodies of executed murderers were legally required to be either dissected or hanged in chains (displayed on a gibbet). The core theme was the interrelated ways in which the dead body of the executed criminal could still be powerful and useful.

The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain: evidence, memories, inventions

The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain was a major multidisciplinary research programme funded by The Leverhulme Trust (2011-2015). The overall aim of the project was to conduct research into the impact of ancient diasporas on the cultural and population history of Britain and how these events have shaped identities in the British Isles both in the past and in the present. As part of this project, Dr Richard Jones focused on the links between people and the land, c.400 and c.1500 AD, and how the landscape was exploited both as an economic resource, and as a medium through which personal and community identities (particularly of the non-elite) were negotiated.

English Landscape History

English landscape history can be said to have originated at Leicester. Pioneered by W.G. Hoskins, who was able to establish both the discipline's academic credentials and popularise the subject at the same time. Landscape history remains a cornerstone of what has become known worldwide as the 'Leicester approach' to local history. Using the technical wizardry and global reach of Google, we are looking to take English landscape history to new audiences, delivered in new and innovative ways. 

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