Drawing a pint

Investigating local industry influences on town development and vice versa through the case study of the Brakspear Brewery site, Henley-on-Thames

Department: Real Estate & Planning

Supervised by: Henry russell

The Placement Project

One student is required for this project. S/he will build on the UROP ‘Tale of Two Cities’ project (2019), which identified the general phases of development of the brewery site. The student will review the archival research in more detail than was possible in the previous project to discover the mutual influence of the history of brewing in Henley and the development of the town, focusing in particular on data on the Brakspear brewery. The ownership, occupancy and changes to the development over time will be traced. Mapping the phases and changes to the site will be fundamental and integral to the project. A web and archival search of all brewery-related planning applications in Henley will also be needed. The relevant data is held in Oxford Archives (the county record office), the English Heritage Archive at Swindon and the National Archives at Kew. The student will prepare a fully referenced report with illustrated mapping showing the successive changes to the brewery areas and its context in Henley town centre.


Archival and documentary research at Oxford Archives, the English Heritage Archive and the National Archives to understand the history of the brewery. This will involve the following steps: 1. Catalogue search to identify relevant documents 2. Scrutiny of documents and drawings to prepare a chronological description of changes to the site over time. 3. Scrutiny of all brewery related planning applications made in Henley and all planning applications made to the Brakspear brewery site in Henley 4. On-site fieldwork to understand the context of the site and the existing buildings. Preparation of a fully referenced report including images where relevant and mapping to show the development of the site. To assist the student, the induction will comprise an initial supervised visit to Oxford Archives and the English Heritage Archive. During the induction we will support the student by: • Explaining the scope of the project • Set up short exercises to interrogate online catalogues, read historic handwriting from samples held by the project team, discover and analyse planning applications made in a town. prepare a written summary of findings • Provide feedback to train the student in the above archival skills. • Provide carefully selected and limited reading to be carried out in the first week which will then be discussed with the project team. • Prepare a time schedule of activities. Weekly progress reviews will be conducted as follows: The student will prepare a short presentation every week consolidating progress to date. The project team will discuss progress made, issues encountered and plans for the next step.

Skills, knowledge and experience required

• The willingness to enquire and follow the trail of documents. • Interest and ability to read and understand historical documents of the 18th and 19th centuries • Skills to interpret drawings and plans • Drawing and mapping skills to illustrate site development

Skills which will be developed during the placement

• Practical skills of archive based research, including identifying relevant documents. • Knowledge of what local and national archive holdings comprise. • Skills to query online and hard copy catalogues to source relevant documents. • Skills to analyse an archive and prepare a fully referenced and coherent narrative of a site’s history. • Skills to research planning applications

Place of Work

Henley Business School or MERL. Oxford Archives, English Heritage Archive and National Archives at Kew

Hours of Work

6 hours /day for 30 days.

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Wednesday 15 July 2020 - Monday 31 August 2020

How to Apply

The post will be advertised centrally on the UROP website between 24th February and 3rd April 2020. Students should submit their CV and Cover Letter directly to the Project Supervisor (click on supervisor name at the top of the page for email). Successful candidates will then be invited to interview.

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