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About Katherine Fennelly

I am a Lecturer in Heritage in the College of Arts. I completed my undergraduate degree and masters in Ireland, at University College Dublin, and my PhD at the University of Manchester in 2013. I worked in commercial archaeology in Lincolnshire and at the University of Sheffield, before joining the University of Lincoln in 2017. My particular research interest is in urban and rural improvement and change from 1700 to 1920, and the establishment of public institutions. My published work is based on my doctoral research, which focused on early-nineteenth century lunatic asylum buildings in England and Ireland. Following on from this work, I am currently looking at charitable housing and facilities for public improvement, specifically, almshouses and schools. I am also interested in public parks. I am a co-director on the Dig It! Project, in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield; in 2016 and 2017, I oversaw excavations of a Victorian bandstand in Firth Park, Sheffield

Department Responsibilities

School representative, College of Arts Short Programmes Oversight Group School representative, The Historical Association Module coordinator for Level 2 - Dissertations and Beyond, and Level 2 - The Age of Improvement: the Atlantic World in the long eighteenth century Teaching on Level 2 - Madness and the Asylum

Subject Specialism

post-medieval history and archaeology, material culture, built heritage, asylums, poverty


  • PhD — University of Manchester, 2013
  • MA Archaeology — University College Dublin, 2008
  • BA (Hons) History and Archaeology — University College Dublin, 2007


  • Mick Aston Award — Council for British Archaeology,
  • Small Research Grant — Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology,
  • Arts Enterprise Small Grant — University of Sheffield,
  • Doctoral Research Bursary — University of Manchester,


Heritage Consultant, Lincoln Conservation

Research Interests

  • 19th-century history

  • built heritage

  • colonial landscapes

  • early modern history

  • post-medieval archaeology

  • professional heritage

  • public institutions

Research Projects

  • The Bedehouse Project — awarded £453 by Council for British Archaeology in 2017
  • The Lawn Asylum and the transformation of nineteenth-century Lincoln — awarded £467 by Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology in 2015

Professional Affiliations