I am a historian with an interest in the connections between landscape design and medical practice. Currently a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Chester, I have recently completed a Wellcome funded Medical History & Humanities postdoctoral Fellowship which I began at Kings College London. I previously worked as a Research Assistant on the Leverhulme Trust funded Historic Gardens & Landscapes of England project at the University of Bristol. As a fledgling garden historian I won the first Garden History Society Essay Prize in 2005 for my article on the gardens surrounding the psychiatric institution, Brislington House in Bristol. My research on the history of hospital gardens was published by Manchester University Press in June 2013 as Therapeutic Landscapes: A History of English Hospital Gardens Since 1800 .
I have also published on the visual experience of landscape as part of the therapeutic regime of the nineteenth-century British asylum both as a journal article for History of Psychiatry and for the Parks and Gardens UK website. An article I wrote on the use of cold baths and plunge pools in the eighteenth-century garden as part of a healthy lifestyle can also be read here. In Autumn 2012 I made my TV debut as an expert on the use of cold bathing for health in an episode of Channel 4’s Restoration Man.
In 2011 I received a Wellcome Trust grant to research the eighteenth-century gardens of vaccination pioneer, Edward Jenner, and the surgeon, anatomist and biologist, John Hunter and the resultant article in Post-Medieval Archaeology can be read here. The use of gardens as scientific spaces by medical practitioners in the long eighteenth-century has become my latest focus of interest.
This website will explore the fascinating relationship between gardens, medical practitioners and ideas regarding health and wellbeing in the past, as well as considering the effect of the past on the present. Do get in touch and let me know about your research and experience of designed landscapes in relation to medicine, health and wellbeing.