Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Leicester and Open University
Website URL
Victorian, Georgian, British, urban, parks, public parks, gardens, world's fairs, expos, exhibitions, print culture, popular culture, nineteenth century, eighteenth century, engraving, visual histories, topography, landscape, landscape architecture, art history
Additional Contact Information
Usually available throughout the year,

Personal Info

About Me

Cultural historian and historical consultant Dr. Katy Layton-Jones grew up in South Manchester. She received her BA from the University of London and her MPhil and PhD in British history from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD explored popular images of British towns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Katy is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In 2006, Katy moved to the University of Liverpool where she was engaged on the Liverpool Parks and Open Spaces research project, co-funded and supported by the ESRC, English Heritage, and Liverpool City Council. Since 2008, Katy has been based at the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, where she now holds a research post. Katy currently lectures for the Open University and has taught subjects ranging from the history of London to Worlds’ Fairs, urban conservation, and the birth of consumer society.

Katy is a member of the International Advisory Board for Urban History, published by Cambridge University Press. Between 2015 and 2017 she served on the advisory panel for the AHRC-funded The Future Prospects of Urban Parks research project at the University of Leeds and is now a Board Adviser for The Parks Alliance. In November 2016, Katy gave evidence before the British Government’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Public Parks.

Katy has published widely for academic, public, and professional audiences. Her monograph, Beyond the Metropolis: the image of urban Britain 1780 – 1880 was published by Manchester University Press in 2016.  In 2014 Katy authored the National Review of Research Priorities for Urban Parks, Designed Landscapes and Open Spaces (English  Heritage, 2014) followed by 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).

Katy has been a regular contributor to the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, for which she has written on subjects including: sex in Victorian public parks, funeral warehouses, the Art-Treasures Exhibition, panoramas, and war cemeteries. Her media appearances include BBC Radio 4’s Making History and The Verb and the BBC television series, People’s Palaces: The Golden Age of Civic Architecture. She has given public lectures at the Southbank Centre, Imperial War Museum, and Rhodes College, Memphis (USA).


Recent Publications


Layton-Jones, Beyond the Metropolis: The Changing Image of Urban Britain, 1780–1880 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016).

Layton-Jones and Lee, Places of Health and Amusement (Swindon: English Heritage, 2008).

Journal Articles and Chapters

Layton-Jones, ‘Manufactured Landscapes: Victorian Public Parks and the Industrial Imagination’ in Dick and Mitchell (eds), Gardens and Green Spaces in the West Midlands since 1700 (Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, 2018), pp.120-137.

Layton-Jones, ‘The Use and Abuse of the Past: History and Policy in Public Park Provision’ in Griffiths and von Lünen (eds), Spatial Cultures: New Perspectives on the Spatial Morphology of Cities Past and Present (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2016).

Layton-Jones, ‘A Legacy of Ambivalence: Public Parks and Legacies of Leisure’ in Itzen and Müller (eds.), Industry and Industrial Heritage in the Twentieth Century (Augsburg: Wißner-Verlag, 2013), pp. 132 – 152.

Layton-Jones, ‘A Commanding View: Liverpool’s Public Parks, 1722-1870’, Cultural and Social History 10:1 (March 2013), pp. 47 – 67.

Layton-Jones, ‘A Picturesque Port or a Sublime Scene?’ in Poole (ed.), A City Built upon the Water: Maritime Bristol 1750-1880 (Bristol: Redcliffe Press, 2013), pp. 138 – 154.

Layton-Jones, ‘Re-Presenting Manchester: The Art-Treasures Exhibition in Manchester 1857’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 87:2 (August 2009), pp. 123 – 142.

Layton-Jones, ‘Visual Quotations: Referencing Visual Sources as Historical Evidence’, Visual Resources 24:2 (July 2008), pp.189 – 199.

Layton-Jones, ‘The Synthesis of Town and Trade: Visualising Provincial Urban Identity 1800-1851’, Urban History 35:1 (Spring 2008), pp.72 – 95.


Media Coverage
'The Verb', BBC Radio 3 (November, 2016). 'The Matter of the North', BBC Radio 4 with Melvyn Bragg (September, 2016). 'Making History', Pier Productions for BBC Radio 4 (2013 and 2014). 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Magazine, BBC publications (2008 - 10),
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
England, United States, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Book History, Colonialism, Environment, Local & Regional, Material Culture, Museums, Public History, Urban History