I am a cultural historian and historical consultant based in the School of History. My research focuses on visual histories, landscape, and the urban realm. Having completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge, I was appointed Research Associate at the University of Liverpool where I was engaged on the Liverpool Parks and Open Spaces research project, co-funded and supported by the ESRC, English Heritage, and Liverpool City Council.
I have taught subjects ranging from the history of London to Worlds’ Fairs to urban theory and conservation, art history, and the birth of consumer society. I am a member of the International Advisory Boards for Urban History and Midland History. Between 2015 and 2017 I served on the advisory panel for the AHRC-funded The Future Prospects of Urban Parks research project at the University of Leeds and I am a Board Advisor for The Parks Alliance. In 2016 I gave evidence to the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee on public parks. I have published for academic, public, and professional audiences. In 2014 I authored the National Review of Research Priorities for Urban Parks, Designed Landscapes and Open Spaces (English Heritage, 2014) followed by a critical History of Public Park Funding and Management (1820 – 2010) (Historic England, 2016), and Uncertain Prospects: public parks in the new age of austerity (The Gardens Trust, 2016). I have been a contributor to the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, for which I’ve written on subjects including: sex in Victorian public parks, funeral warehouses, the Art-Treasures Exhibition, panoramas, and war cemeteries.
My media appearances include BBC Radio 4’s Making History, The Matter of the North, and The Verb, the BBC television series, People’s Palaces: The Golden Age of Civic Architecture, and Channel 4's Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed. My first book, Places of Health and Amusement was published by English Heritage in 2008. My monograph, Beyond the Metropolis: the image of urban Britain 1780 – 1880 was published by Manchester University Press in 2016. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.