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Overview - Harlow ECL Programme

Science Museum

English Towns, English Architecture,and the World of Heritage

Spring 2013

The 14th offering of the English Cultural Landscape programme will take place during the spring semester of 2013. 

The programme will consist of four courses taught by Jerry Pocius of the Department of Folklore and Chris Sharpe of the Department of Geography. Two courses will deal with architecture in all its forms, from the castles and mansion estates of the wealthy to the ordinary vernacular housing of the urban and rural poor. One course will examine the changing structure of English towns and cities. The fourth course will examine how English heritage and culture has been put on display in museums and historic sites, and how the interpretation of English heritage has changed over the years.

There are two components to the courses: classroom work before and after the UK trip, and a six-week study-tour based at Harlow. There will be six weeks of classroom instruction in St. John’s prior to the departure for Harlow in early July; no classes will be held in the UK. At least two (and sometimes three) full-day field trips will take place each week. These field trips are the central component of the programme, and will enable students to examine firsthand the subject matter of the courses. It is compulsory that all students maintain a field book in which they will record things seen and reactions to the observed material world. Students will also be required to complete a field project as part of their course work.

Field trips will include St. Albans and Ely Cathedrals; Rochester Castle and the Tower of London; mediaeval timber-frame architecture in Coggeshall and Lavenham;  Tudor manors; country houses from the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Georgian periods; 17th and 18th century townhouses; specialized museums with collections ranging from stained glass and local history to antiquarian curiosities; behind-the-scenes looks at the running of a country estate; London Docklands; Bloomsbury; the living history programme at Hampton Court Palace; and a working windmill.  

The English Cultural Landscape Programme provides a unique opportunity to understand English culture as it is reflected in the material world of the past and present. There are no prerequisites and students from any academic unit may apply.

For further information contact Dr. Jerry Pocius at 864-8366 (office ED 4034, email or Dr. Chris Sharpe at 864-8984 (office SN2009), email