Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850: The Architectural Imagination

Lead Research Organisation: University of Stirling
Department Name: English

Abstract

This interdisciplinary research project seeks to explore the often acknowledged but, to date, critically under-researched relationship between Gothic architecture and literature in British writing of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (1700-1850). Over its 18-month duration, the project seeks to bring to completion a major academic monograph entitled _Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance and the Architectural Imagination, 1760-1840_. This study seeks to analyse a selection of poetic, fictional and dramatic texts alongside, and in relation to, contemporary architectural tracts, antiquarian tomes and illustrated topographies, travel-guides, popular journalism and selected aesthetic debates, paying particular attention to the ways in which the widespread cultural fascination with Gothic architecture in Britain in the period, both original and Revivalist, at once prompted and relied upon competing, highly politicised conceptualisations of the British 'Gothic' or medieval past. Far from being a monolithic construct, the visions of the British nation's ancient medieval or 'Gothic' heritage that were inspired by real and imagined sites of architectural ruin were marked by a lack of consistency: for some, Gothic antiquity was a barbaric epoch of feudal tyranny and Catholic superstition, while for others, it constituted the zenith of the nation's cultural and political achievements. In turn, these competing constructions of the nation's history fed directly into political debates of the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century present. Through a series of focused case studies, the research draws attention to the fictional, poetic, dramatic, antiquarian and popular-historical texts that were prompted and inspired by some of the actual Gothic architectural ruins across the landscapes of England, Scotland, Wales, and, after 1801, Ireland, among them Netley Abbey, Southampton; Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire; Alnwick Castle, Northumberland; Furness Abbey, Cumbria; Bothwell Castle, Lanarkshire; Conwy Castle, Conwy; St Alban's Abbey, Hertfordshire; Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire; Mellifont Abbey, County Louth; and Alnwick Castle, Northumbria. Through this, the project aims to address the role played by literature in the rise of the heritage movement in Britain from the end of the eighteenth century onwards. Paying equal attention to the texts written about, or set within, imaginary and Revivalist architectural sites, the study argues for the centrality of architecture, both literally and as metaphor, to eighteenth-century aesthetic debates and to the rise of Romantic conceptualisations of the literary imagination in the early nineteenth century. In seeking to encourage scholarly dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, the project, in a second but overlapping phase, aims to host an academic conference, 'Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities', an interdisciplinary, trans-historical event designed to initiate scholarly exchange between scholars working on topics of architectural interest across a broad range of disciplines. Focusing its interests on Britain in the period 1700-1850, the project then draws together into a research network a number of invited academics from the fields of literature; history; art history; and Heritage studies with complementary interests, hosting two academic symposia and collaborating on a vigorous programme of public engagement: 6 public lectures on the theme of 'Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700-1850' at Strawberry Hill House, London, and the collaborative publication of a book of that title aimed at the non-specialist reader. Extending its reach to learners beyond the academy, the project aims to run a non-credit-bearing Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the theme of 'The Gothic Revival: Interdisciplinary Perspectives'. Across its various events and outputs, 'Writing Britain's Ruins' aims to develop leadership potential in the fields of research, impact and knowledge transfer

Planned Impact

This project's impact agenda is the natural consequence of its intellectual and scholarly endeavours, and one that, given the current popular interest in the Gothic worldwide, seems particularly timely. In aiming to communicate the results of the research to a broader audience beyond the academy, the project includes 3 specific impact and knowledge-transfer activities: a series of public lectures at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham; a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the topic of 'The Gothic Revival: Interdisciplinary Perspectives'; and the publication of a popular, collaboratively written and co-edited trade publication, _Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700-1850_, published by British Library Publishing and aimed at the general, non-specialist reader. In each instance, the project aims to enrich non-academic understandings of the British nation's rich literary and architectural heritage through foregrounding, in relevant, engaging and accessible terms, the vast network of political and aesthetic meanings in which ruins were inscribed in the period 1700-1850, aspects of which are still perceivable in notions of cultural Heritage today. In its focus on the eighteenth century, the project provides modern-day Gothic enthusiasts with an accessible point of entry into the mode's origins, its early forms and its disputed meanings. Supported by the named R.A., these events have been devised with specific target audiences in mind: general members of the British public with interests in eighteenth-century cultural, architectural and literary history who regularly attend educational events held at Strawberry Hill House (Public Lecture Series); students, non-academic enthusiasts and life-long learners from non-traditional learning backgrounds with interdisciplinary interests in the eighteenth-century Gothic Revival in Britain (MOOC); and a national and international market of readers with general, non-specialist interests in the cultural 'afterlife' of architectural ruin in the literature, historiography and antiquarian activity of the long eighteenth century (Co-edited volume). While the Public Lecture Series aims to recruit members of the public who are local to Strawberry Hill, Twickenham and London, the MOOC and the co-edited volume are intended to reach audiences beyond this immediate locale, extending the impact of the research to national and international user-groups further afield. The confirmed participation of Dr Jeremy Ashby (Head Historic Properties Curator for English Heritage) in the network 'Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700-1850' will also facilitate direct exchange between the project's intellectual endeavours and English Heritage, an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. As discussions with Dr Ashby have confirmed, the project, in its preoccupation with the cultural 'afterlife' of specific sites of Gothic architectural ruin, is of particular interest to English Heritage, since this is a concern that is currently at the forefront of the institution's aims to foster the cultural appreciation of the nation's architectural history. Through the involvement of English Heritage, the project is thus likely to generate measurable impact upon the British public through the organisation's robust programme of educational, outreach and knowledge-transfer activities. Dr Oliver Cox, another confirmed network member, is currently employed as Knowledge Exchange Fellow for the Thames Valley Country House Partnership Project, University of Oxford. In this capacity, he is charged with all of Oxford University's external collaborations with the Heritage industry, including the National Trust; the Historic Houses Association; and English Heritage. Bringing his experience and extensive network of professional contacts to bear on the project, Dr Cox will seek out further, hitherto unforeseen pathways to impact, with view to an eventual 'Follow-on Funding' bid.

Publications

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Dale Townshend (2019) Hospitalities

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Townshend, D And Lindfield, P (2018) Recovering Fonthill: A Cultural History

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Townshend, D. (2017) Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700-1850

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Townshend, Dale (2017) Writing Britain's Ruins

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Townshend, Dale (2017) Writing Britain's Ruins

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Townshend, Dale (2016) Lost Souls

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Townshend, Dale (2016) Horror: A Literary History

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
AH/M00600X/1 01/06/2015 31/08/2016 £181,863
AH/M00600X/2 Transfer AH/M00600X/1 01/09/2016 31/03/2017 £23,423
 
Description This project has generated a wealth of academic and impact-related material. The two primary pathways to Impact, namely the MOOC on 'The Gothic Revival: Interdisciplinary Perspectives' (February to April 2016) and the 'Writing Britain's Ruins' series of public lectures at Strawberry Hill (May to June 2016), were both extremely successful in their aims at disseminating the academic fruits of the project to a broader audience. As detailed in a later section of this return, the feedback received from both events has been extremely positive: as noted below, participants of both reported changed perceptions, and noted how useful the material was for their own professional undertakings as, say, writers, researchers, curators, volunteers, students and teachers. Several respondents to the MOOC, in particular, emphasised how the course had deepened and enriched their understanding of the Gothic Revival, particularly insofar as the course explored aspects of the Gothic (politics, architecture, art, historiography) that lie well beyond the more familiar terrain of the literary. (For details, see 'narrative impact section). These aspects of the project revealed to both the PI and RA a deep cultural interest in Britain's architectural and literary heritage, one that we would hope to engage further in follow-on funding on discrete but related theme of 'Exploring Britain's Ruins'. The primary aim of this set of impact-driven activities would be to update our focus on the long eighteenth century (1700-1850) in the original grant, and apply it to the ways in which artists, poets and school students 'experience' Britain's ruins today. The research on this grant has also made possible the production of a coherent series of videos, housed indefinitely on www.gothic.stir.ac.uk and YouTube, that might be consulted by anyone wishing to extend or deepen their interests in the subject-matter. The more academic activities associated with the grant, including the interdisciplinary conference 'Reading Architecture Across the Arts and Humanities' (December 2015) and the series of network meetings, have been equally successful. These two events have generated invigorating interdisciplinary exchange between historians, art historians, literary critics and members of the heritage sector, the fruits of which are soon to be published in the contracted volume, _Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850_ (forthcoming from British Library Publishing in November 2017). The publication of this volume will be accompanied by a study day at the British Library (details to follow soon). Furthermore, some of the free-standing chapters of this volume will be published online, in open access format, as part of the British Library's 'Transforming Topography' project. Townshend's _Gothic Antiquity: History, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760--1840, the monograph to arise from this project, is close to completion, and will be submitted to the publisher in June 2017. It is envisaged that further scholarly debates and impact-related activities will derive from this monograph in due course.
Exploitation Route As I detail at length in the 'narrative impact' section of this return, the findings, particularly as disseminated through the major 'Pathways to Impact' associated with this award, have been, and continued to be, used in the following sectors:
1) Volunteering, curatorship and the heritage sector in Britain
2) Education (teaching at ESL, school and undergraduate level)
3) PhD research
4) General cultural enrichment
5) Creative writing

For evidence concerning, and further details of, this, please see the responses in the 'narrative impact' section.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description Here, it is best to provide a summary of, and quotations from, the questionnaires that we circulated at the end of both the public lecture series and the MOOC: 1. Impact of the Public Lecture Series 'Writing Britain's Ruins' at Strawberry Hill House: Responses to our question 'Do you think that the series has fulfilled its aim to take academic research into the broader community' were unanimously 'yes'. Of the 21 respondents, these were some of the more detailed responses to this question: 'Yes, certainly, and the variety of approaches and presentation styles has been a major contributor' 'Definitely' Some of the responses to the question of how the series changed or enriched participants' knowledge of the relationship between ruined architecture and literature in the eighteenth century include the following: 'Enlarged my knowledge of the 18th century. Plenty of places to visit at some later date' The series brought to my attention 'More academic [sources] to read and engage with' and exposure 'to lesser-known castles and history' 'Encouraged me to go and seek some of the sources referred to. I would hope to develop a much wider perspective with stronger cultural context' 'I was pleased about how much knowledge I had gained and [the series] inspired me to look further' 'It has helped me to make connections and see the bigger picture. Also raised my critical awareness' 'Perhaps it has shown that there was a lot more thought that had done into writing rather than just long flashes of inspiration' '[I] did not think before about how much literature and writing has formed our perception and enjoyment of architecture. I will continue to visit historic churches / architecture and will look at them in a little different light of perspective' 'This series has enlightened a group who are I expect already interested in the subject but these sorts of talks should be more widespread' 'It has widened my knowledge of historic architecture and posed many interesting questions. It has made me thin that I should visit more of these buildings and how rich this country is in beautiful historic castles and country houses' 'This has helped my researches into eighteenth-century garden history and has broadened my knowledge' 'It has made a definite positive contribution to my learning' As these responses suggest, the findings of the research project have been useful in changing perceptions of Britain's architectural heritage throughout bringing about greater awareness of the cultural significance that ruins were afforded in the eighteenth century. While invigorating and enriching extant interests in the field, the series has also opened up for several participants new fields of awareness and investigation. Several of the respondents were volunteers at Strawberry Hill House, and remarked how useful the series had been in depending their understanding of Walpole's place in the history of taste and aesthetics. Feedback received from the MOOC has been equally pleasing. Below are some of the responses to the question, 'Has this MOOC changed your understanding of the Gothic Revival in the eighteenth century? If so, how?' Yes, I had some knowledge of medieaval French Gothic - St Denis, and the influence of Gothic on German expressionism but not the English chapter of Gothic revival. Yes I think it has. I think it has furthered my understanding of what a difficult concept it is to truly pin down. Yes, it has not only changed my understanding on the topic, but it has also motivated me to read and learn more. After this course my love for Gothic has only grown. It has entirely expanded it. It didn't change, but it significantly expanded. I did not have much fundamental knowledge about Gothic architecture or Gothic visual art before I started this MOOC course. Through this course, I have learned about the history of Gothic architecture, the features of Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill, a Gothic Revival house, the antiquarian preservation of the structures of Gothic architectures via illustrations and topographical works, and that it is not simply the outward manifestation of Gothic architecture but also the inward expression of 'feelings and associations' related to the Gothic that constitute Gothic art. Yes. First, I didn't know the connection of the Gothic literature with the Britain's national identity, but I realized how important this idea is for us to understand the Gothic literature and its influence in England. Secondly, my knowledge of the idea Gothic has become wider and expanded from literature to architecture, painting, and interior design. The term 'Gothic' is no longer a synonym of 'barbarian, vulgar, or destruction' to me. Oh yes, it was much broader than I had expected, much more to it. The course was a real education Yes, it has. Gothic Revival was the single most puzzling thing to me before I started this course. I love visiting churches and I was often hard put to understand why 18th and 19th century buildings had so many mediaeval features! The word 'Gothic' gets bandied about a lot, but before I did the MOOC, I was not very confident about where and when to apply it. I also had no idea before the MOOC that classical and Gothic buildings were being constructed simultaneously in the 18th and 19th century, nor that there were such opposing schools of thought about this. I was quite staggered this week to walk around the Gothic McManus in Dundee and see, across the street, an aggressively Classical school building with a pediment and Doric columns. All of a sudden, thanks to the MOOC, these clashes of style are becoming obvious to me in a way that they weren't before! I have a greater understanding of the different aspects of the Gothic Revival - historical, social, political and artistic. Having more background knowledge of this period and more knowledge of the ideas and aesthetics will help me to understand and appreciate the books, buildings & art more. Previously I have only read & heard about the Victorian period with regards to the Gothic so I have found it very interesting to learn about the Georgian people & period also. I have been given lots to think about. Yes, it has broadened my view of the Gothic. Definitely. I had only a base idea of what 'Gothic' is and now my understanding is far broader. Was not aware of Horace Walpole's strong influence on Gothic buildings and architecture. Knew about the Castle of Otranto but not about Strawberry Hill. Previously knew little about Gothic furniture. Absolutely. It helped me understand the different areas in which the Gothic Revival manifested itself including literature, arts and politics. I also feel that I have a more in-depth knowledge of the topic and the transformations which took place during this period. Yes; I knew almost nothing about it before!. I remain slightly unconvinced that there is a coherent overall account showing that the different strands/formats/understandings of gothic (ie politico-historical, literary, architectural, fine artistic) fed off each other in more than a fairly anecdotal/indirect way. Great blend of ideas from literature and architecture.........I did not have a good feel for the latter before this course started. yes I didn't realise how all encompassing the revival was. I believe this MooC has really helped me understand and structure different aspects of the Gothic with which I was already familiar but that I found hard to connect to historical background. I hadn't even consciously known that there WAS a revival in the 18th C. I hadnt ever thought about it. I love Gothic architecture. I was a 'Goth' way before the term was incorporated into modern parlance. I hung out in cemeteries since I could walk. I belong to a cemetery recording group and cannot understand why the whole world doesnt want to spent their free time doing this because the funerary monuments are so glorious, and so important in so many ways. I am a conservative lawyer by day and just weird the rest of the time. A friend sent me this link on Face Book. I saw the word 'Gothic' and I thought 'oh yes, this is for me.' Now I know there was this revival, and a tiny bit about it, and that has expanded my general knowledge. I like that. Yes. So much so. I am now a Goth descendant not a Celt like I thought. I still have the reddish blonde hair and green eyes of the Teutons I feel that the MOOC has broadened and deepened my understanding of gothic as a literary genre, and has given me a firm grounding in the architecture, art and history of the period, which I had practically no knowledge of at the start of the course. Since I did not know a lot about this before, I cannot say that it changed my understanding, but I definitely learned a lot. It confirmed my understanding. From knowing nothing I now know something and will continue to read more about it. It also sparked an interest in the Goths, early English history, the University of Stirling and its castle, Horace Walpole, and many other things and people. It even caused me to play Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor over and over again on my laptop and read the rude remarks people made about the various performers. Yes, I've discovered that there is far more to it than just architecture; whilst I have read quite a lot of the literature mentioned I never really appreciated they were Gothic - I just enjoyed them! The same can be said for the art Absolutely! I had no idea about the political concepts of the gothic (eg that it is is democratic). I was aware of Horace Walpole & William Kent - but not of the synthesis of some of the architects who married gothic and neo-classical. I am not so fond of the literature - but I certainly know more about it now. I had not idea that horror and terror are not the same thing - so I have learned about that. I have a far better overview of the subject and also a thirst to learn more. I have printed the weekly lessons and will gradually work my way through some of the other recommended reading - and look in more detail at the key landscape gardeners, architects and interior designers of the period. Though a fan of classic horror, I've never given the Gothic Revival period any thought before this. Provided I knew little of Gothic in Britain, so this MOOC has been useful and interesting Below is a list of responses to the question, Q12: 'How might you apply some of the learning that you've undertaken on this MOOC to aspects of your own professional, intellectual or social life?' I was very interested in the distinctions between terror and horror and the link of the sublime to terror. I wonder if horror is related to the notion of the abject. I am interested in building a more precise understanding of how terror and horror function and their relations with other concepts that can be bought to a discussion of aesthetics. It has really refreshed my knowledge but it has little impact on my professional life. I will however be taking some of the aesthetic questions with me this weekend as I spend 4 days watching horror movies! I teach English and Literature, and I love Gothic, so from now on I'll try to give Gothic a bigger role in my courses and life. Having been a life-long student of British art, literature, and history, I can truly say that this has greatly expanded my intellectual life. I live near and am a frequent visitor to the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven.(I cannot wait until it finally reopens next month!) This MOOC will make my visits much more enjoyable. In my own teaching job. I could apply the notions of Gothic terror and horror in my PhD research, and extend my reading to those influential eighteenth-century texts about the expressions of the Gothic and Gothic aesthetic mentioned in the sessions on Gothic literature. As for my learning of Gothic architecture, I could apply it to my reading of Gothic houses or mansions described in Gothic fiction, as well as to any Gothic architecture I see or encounter in real life. Well, I'm planning for a trip to the U.K and other European countries, I'll be able to have an opportunity to visit and appreciate the architectures and interior designs I learned in the course. Since I am retired and live a very quiet life my new knowledge will delight and enlighten me and all those I decide to tell. I'm an author, and in the past, people have referred to my work as 'Gothic.' I have tended not to use this term myself, because up until now I was not confident of the extent to which it applies to what I write. Now I know that my books are thoroughly in the Gothic tradition (they even feature mediaeval buildings!) and I shall proudly describe myself as a writer of Gothic novels. I shall certainly be reading more about Gothic things, thanks to the further reading suggested in the MOOC. As I've mentioned in the comments above, I am already spotting and appreciating examples of Gothic architecture to an extent I never did before. I am going to London later this year and hope to visit Strawberry Hill itself. So the MOOC has suggested some new intellectual adventures for me! I am planning to continue my studies by reread & expanding my course notes, reading more of the recommended texts and gothic titles that I haven't already read (including looking up the drawings and recordings of the buildings & ruins) , visiting some more buildings and galleries and looking for any other talks and guided tours there might be locally. I'm going to go into Manchester & see what John Rylands, Chethams & the Portico have, I have visited them several times generally and for exhibitions but I've never worked out a study plan & used them for specific research. I also want to improve my essay writing, read more about the sublime, gothic cemetery architecture and romanticism. I'm going to be very busy ! Sadly, my job has nothing to do with these subjects. Teaching Romanticism. I'll have more interest when I visit art galleries - the Gothic sublime and Picturesque are calling to me. I visited Strawberry Hill as I happened to be in London in March. This was a revelation. It will encourage me to read more Gothic literature from the period, by authors mentioned in the lectures, such as Ann Radcliffe. Shall also be buying more books to further my knowledge on Architecture and Design. More visits to buildings mentioned and next time I am in London, I shall enjoy a visit to The V and A to see the Strawberry Hill Chair. Will also be checking the University of Stirling Gothic Studies website to read some of the articles. It will also be good to check for updates on the Writing Britain's Ruins project. Finally, I enjoyed a return to my alma mater. When I started my degree at Stirling, Pathfoot contained the only lecture theatre! A special thanks to Dale, Peter, Simon and Stuart. Hopefully there will be funding for a part two and and an opportunity to learn more about the project. Thank you also for the new, very classy, certificate. As an art historian specialized in the early modern period and curator of historical works (1600-1900) this course will help me a lot with my work, especially when it comes to undertaking research on particular works of art and locating primary sources and documents. My main interest is architecture of later Victorian period and arts & crafts architecture so it all feeds in to my understanding of how the Gothic Revival developed and fed into the approaches of those later architects... Many thanks to all involved. It will provide a good base of knowledge that I'll tap into during my own research on Gothic literature. I am considering undertaking a dissertation in the gothic next semester but I have a lot to consider. The learning will surely help me in my PhD research as well as in constructing courses on Gothic literature. I dont think I will apply any of this to my professional life. It just doesnt intersect at all. Intellectually it has enriched me greatly. I will certainly look at Gothic architecture with a more informed eye. And I will look at art through a Gothic lens now. I am not much exposed to Gothic furniture, and I am not going to be reading classic Gothic literature much. Although I am certainly going to read Northanger Abbey again. I have it somewhere in my library and intend to seek it out this very night. I like studying. I like learning new things. I also think it is good for keeping my brain agile. But now I have the luxury of studying things that interest me, not those that are necessary for finding a job, or promotion. I do my professional CPD obviously, but for the rest I study what interests me. I am extremely fortunate to have interesting, intellectual and well educated friends. We converse on a wide range of topics. Socially I have something new to offer in conversation. I am extremely grateful to the team for giving me this wonderful opportunity to learn in such a engaging manner. Thank you. Best knowledge about this topic, a new topic for discussion. Yes! I am going to add to the various family history books I have done with a comment that I am now goth not celt. As a writer, I am glad to have the knowledge bestowed by this course available to draw on in any stories I write that might touch on the ideas of horror, terror, the sublime, architecture and preservation, or any of the other themes or topics covered on the course - as well as any stories that might take place in the course's time period. I will use what I learned here to teach ESL students new perspectives about the Gothic . It confirmed that Gothic is, and should always be, part of my academic research. I will probably write some hilarious, horrible, one-act gothic play which I will force my friends here at the retirement village to perform in my sitting room. They will all have to have scripts in their hands because some of them can hardly remember their own names. OPENING SCENE: It was a dark and stormy night and outside the lonely ghost of Zondo Mataba wandered through the African bush. Jane:'Who's that?' Mary:' Oh, it's that idiot, Zondo. Probably wants his revenge.' Jane: 'What revenge?' Mary: 'You know, all that white mischief stuff ... he wants a virgin' Jane: 'Oh my God!' Mary: 'Don't be silly, this is a retirement village. I tell you, the man's an idiot.' END OF SCENE ONE I have a lot more books to read on my Kindle! I have also now realised just how much Gothic architecture there is still in Newcastle upon Tyne!! I've been able to reignite my interest in literature, which I hope to continue further. I think the MOOC has made me realise that I need to investigate the different levels or layers of a subject in more detail. It has also taught me to allocate more time for things. It is true that I am very time poor - and that means that I am not making enough time for my own intellectual development. I hope to make some small changes and therefore feed my head a little better in future. Discussion of the literary themes will be particularly helpful in conceptualizing two planned research projects (I am a professor of Communication at a public college in the US). It has rather put me in the mood of rereading the classics on the topic As these responses suggest, the findings, disseminated through the MOOC, have been used in such fields as education (school teachers; ESL teachers; undergraduate teachers); PhD research, curatorship; and creative writing.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Lewis Walpole Library Fellowship
Amount $4,000 (USD)
Organisation Yale University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United States
Start 11/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Collaboration with English Heritage on the 'Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850' edited collection 
Organisation English Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Michael Carter, a member of English Heritage, is one of the three co-editors of _Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850', an edited collection of essays to be published in 2017 by British Library Publishing. The chapters of this collaboratively written volume have been written by the members of the research network associated with this AHRC project. The collection will go to press on 31 March 2017; publication scheduled for November 2017.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Carter has advised on the content of the book, as well as on possible avenues for follow-on funding. He has also written the introduction to the edited collection, and co-edited the 7 chapters that comprise the contents. He was also an active member of the 'Writing Britain's Ruins' network, and assisted with the organisation of the public lecture series at Strawberry Hill.
Impact The primary output of this collaboration will be a co-edited collection of essays, _Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850'. Upon publication in Autumn 2017, it is likely to produce and inspire a number of public events, including a 'study day' at the British Library, London.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Collaboration with Strawberry Hill House on a public lecture series, 'Writing Britain's Ruins' 
Organisation Strawberry Hill House Trust and Charity
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I collaborated with Strawberry Hill House Trust and Charity on a series of public lectures entitled 'Writing Britain's Ruins', delivered at the House, Twickenham, in May and June 2016.
Collaborator Contribution The Trust hosted the lecture series in the Gallery at Strawberry Hill, setting up the ticketting service for the events, and assisting with its promotion.
Impact The outcomes of this collaboration are three-fold. First, it involved a free public-lecture series on the theme of 'Writing Britain's Ruins', aiming at disseminating the intellectual fruits of the broader AHRC project to a broader, non-academic audience, and thus serving as a 'Pathway to Impact' for the larger grant. Secondly, insofar as the lectures were delivered by the members of the AHRC-funded research network, they occasioned rich intellectual exchange between a range of researchers working in separate but related fields, among them history of art, literature, conservationism, history and heritage studies. Thirdly, these lectures have been converted into the various book chapters that comprise the contracted edited collection, _Writing Britain's Ruins, 1700--1850' (Forthcoming from British Library Publishing, 2017).
Start Year 2015
 
Description Annual William Beckford Birthday Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Peter Lindfield and I were invited to deliver the annual William Beckford Birthday Lecture at the Bath Architectural Museum in October 2016. The event was co-hosted by the Beckford Tower Trust. This event arose directly out of our collaborative work on the 'Writing Britain's Ruins' project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/event/the-beckford-birthday-lecture-at-the-museum-of-bath-...
 
Description Co-curating of 'Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic' Exhibition at the John Rylands Library, Manchester 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Together with Peter Lindfield, the RA on my AHRC grant, I curated those aspects of the 'Darkness and Light: Exploring the Gothic' at the John Rylands Library, Manchester, that pertained specifically to Gothic and Gothic Revivalist architecture. Drs Linnie Blake and Xavier Aldana Reyes (both of Manchester Metropolitan University) were also members of the curatorial team, and worked on later, literary and filmic aspects of the exhibition. Between July 2015 and January 2016, 103,965 people visited the Library. Although it is not possible to cite the exact number of people who interacted with the exhibition itself, 76,370 visited the library during the same period of the previous year, suggesting an increase of 27,595 visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/rylands/whats-on/exhibitions/darkness-and-light/
 
Description Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill (Study Day) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill - A Study Day. This was held at Taddington Manor, Gloucestershire, on 1 March 2016. and run by Dr Peter Lindfield, the named RA on the AHRC project. It was a public engagement activity exploring a room relevant to his published article in _The Burlington Magazine_ in December 2015. It attracted 38 registrations from people with non-academic backgrounds.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/exploring-lee-priory-a-child-of-strawberry-hill-a-study-day-tickets-1...
 
Description MOOC: The Gothic Revival, 1700--1850: Interdisciplinary Perspectives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This 6-week MOOC (29 February -- April) involved an intensive interdisciplinary investigation of the Gothic aesthetic, including literature, architecture, historiography, interiors and visual art. The MOOC recruited 400 learners, and maintained a pleasing completion rate of 18.5 %. Upon termination of the course, the 18 short videos produced for it were moved to www.gothic.stir.ac.uk, where the will remain indefinitely, and thus increasing their potential impact and reach. Learners were required to complete a survey at the end of the course, and the impact of the exercise has been deduced from their responses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.gothic.stir.ac.uk/blog/peter-lindfield/what-is-gothic-from-gothic-mooc/
 
Description Project-related BLOG Posts on The Gothic Imagination website (www.gothic.stir.ac.uk) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Peter Lindfield produced 11 popular blog-posts (1 per month) on The Gothic Imagination website, which currently enjoys 7000 unique hits per month. Each blog derived directly from research material explored by Townshend and Lindfield in the broader AHRC grant, and was aimed at the non-specialist reader.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL http://www.gothic.stir.ac.uk/blog/a-curious-case-of-gothic-in-falkland/
 
Description Public Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I presented a public lecture on the cultural afterlife of the ruined Cistercian Abbey at Abbey, Hampshire, between 1700 and 1850, as part of the 'Netley Literary Festival' series of events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.visit-hampshire.co.uk/whats-on/discover-historic-literature-art-and-tourism-at-netley-ab...