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Tom Williamson

Professor

  • 4.35 Arts

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Personal profile

Key Research Interests and Expertise

Landscape history; landscape archaeology; the history of garden design; environmental history; and agricultural history. Chronologically, I range from the Iron Age to the nineteenth century. Much of my work has focused on East Anglia, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire, but I research aspects of rural landscapes in England more generally. I have a particular interest in the origins and development of systems of territorial organisation in early England; the history of trees and woodlands; medieval field systems and settlement patterns; post-medieval estate landscapes and agricultural ‘improvement’; and designed landscapes of the eighteenth century. I am co-founder and co-editor of the journal Rural History.

Specialisms

English landscape history; East Anglian history; garden history

Biography

Tom Williamson is a landscape historian and landscape archaeologist with wide-ranging interests. His recent research projects have included a GIS-aided study of Agriculture and the Landscape in Midland England, funded by the AHRC; and investigations of the history of tree populations and tree disease in England since 1600, funded by the AHRC, DEFRA, and the Woodland Trust.  He currently leads an HLF-funded project studying the history and ecology of orchards in eastern England (‘Orchards East’); and works with Chris Scull and others on a study of the important Anglo-Saxon site at Rendlesham in Suffolk, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. He also researches designed landscapes, especially parks and gardens of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and is currently involved with the Gardens Trusts of Hertfordshire and Norfolk in researching the work of the designer Humphry Repton in these two counties. He teaches courses on landscape history at undergraduate and MA level, and supervises MPhil and PhD students researching a variety of subjects related to landscape history, agricultural history, and the history of landscape design.