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1/2 idea No. 24: Severn Barrage history

By Jon Agar, on 3 August 2021

(I am sharing my possible research ideas, see my tweet here. Most of them remain only 1/2 or 1/4 ideas, so if any of them seem particularly promising or interesting let me know @jon_agar or jonathan.agar@ucl.ac.uk!)

I have keen research interests in the intersections between history of technology and environmental history. I think the next step is to identify a rich case study. The Severn Barrage schemes – proposals to engineer the River Severn to draw on tidal power – have a long and complex history. Schemes have been proposed from the 19th to the 21st centuries, but have always been fiercely opposed on environmental, technical and other grounds.

I’ve just heard (thanks Marianna Dudley) about Alexander Portch‘s recent PhD thesis on the Severn Barrage projects, which sounds fantastic, and I am looking forward to reading it. Portch is part of a current major AHRC-funded environmental history project, The Power and the Water (PI Peter Coates). Great to see work in this area.

Probably means I am looking for a different case study…



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