Prof Peter Nigel Borsay

BA (Lancaster) PhD (Lancaster)

Prof Peter Nigel Borsay

Personal Chair

Contact Details


Professor Peter Borsay BA, PhD (Lancaster) is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is a historian of early modern and modern Britain, particularly social, urban and cultural history. Professor Borsay is a committee member of the Pre-Modern Towns Group, a member of the International Advisory Board for Urban History and a member of the Advisory Board for The Journal of Tourism History. He has also been a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.


Module Coordinator

Professor Borsay teaches widely in British and European History from the late medieval to modern periods. At Part One he delivers an option module on 'Stuart England'. At Part Two he delivers an option module on 'From Black Death to Great Fire: the British Town 1348-1700' and a Skills, methods and sources module on 'Investigating Georgian and Victorian landscapes'; he also contributes to survey modules on' Early Modernity' and 'the British Isles in the Long Eighteenth Century', the core Part Two undergraduate module on 'Historians and the Writing of History', and to supervising dissertations. At MA level he contributes to a number of modules in the 18th century fields, and supervises dissertations.

PhD supervision:

He supervises dissertations in a variety of fields, especially eighteenth and nineteenth century urban, landscape, and leisure history, and heritage studies.


Professor Peter Borsay is currently researching the following areas: • Various aspects of British urban history 1600-2000 • Spas and seaside resorts. He was engaged in a joint project to explore the history of the resorts of Wales and the Bristol Channel 1750-1914, funded by the Board of Celtic Studies, with his own research focused on Tenby. As part of the project a bibliographical database was produced (, along with a range of conference papers and a number of publications, which included a volume of essays, edited with John Walton, on Resorts and Ports: European Seaside Towns since 1700 (Channel View, 2011). • Landscape and Heritage. Since the publication of The Image of Georgian Bath (2000) he has continued to research architectural and landscape history, the history of heritage, and the history of urban green space. He is working on a monograph for Bloomsbury on The Discovery of England, which focuses on tourism and the consumption of urban and rural landscapes between c. 1837 and 1940. Some of the results of this research can be seen in ‘Nature, the past and the English town: a counter-cultural history’, Urban History (2016). • Leisure. Developing the recreational theme in his English Urban Renaissance (1989) and History of Leisure (2006) he continues to explore various aspects of the subject of leisure. In autumn 2010 he, along with Jan Hein Furnée, co-organized an exploratory workshop (funded by the European Science Foundation) which led to a jointly edited volume on Leisure Cultures in Urban Europe, c. 1700-1870: a Transnational Perspective (Manchester University Press, 2016).


Nature, the past and the English town: A counter-cultural historyBorsay, P. 2016 In : Urban History.44, 1, p. 27-4317 p.
The urban soundscape in pre-modern EnglandBorsay, P. 2016 Le paysage sonore de l’Antiquité: Méthodologie, historiographie et perspectives. Emerit et al, S. (ed.). Rome: Institut français d'archéologie orientale, p. 87-11427 p.
IntroductionBorsay, P. & Furnee, J. H. 2016 Leisure cultures in urban Europe, c. 1700-1870: A Transnational Perspective. Borsay, P. & Furnee, J. H. (eds.). Manchester University Press, p. 1-1818 p. (Studies in Popular Culture)
Leisure Cultures in Urban Europe c. 1700-1870: A Transnational PerspectiveBorsay, P. (ed.) & Furnee, J. H. (ed.) 2015 2016: Manchester University Press. 256 p. (Studies in Popular Culture)
Georgian Bath; a transnational cultureBorsay, P. 2015 Leisure Cultures in Urban Europe c. 1700-1870: A Transnational Perspective. Borsay, P. & Furnee, J. H. (eds.). Manchester University Press, p. 93-11623 p. (Studies in Popular Culture)
A room with a view: visualising the seaside, c. 1750-1914Borsay, P. N. 2013 In : Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.23, p. 175-201
The Topography of Power: Elites and the Political Landscape of the English town 1660-1760Borsay, P. N. 2013 Religion, Identity and Conflict in Britain: From the Restoration to the Twentieth Century. Brown, J., Morgan-Guy, J. & Knight, F. (eds.). Farnham: Taylor & Francis, p. 47-6216 p.
Pleasure gardens and urban culture in the long eighteenth centuryBorsay, P. N. 2012 The Pleasure Garden, from Vauxhall to Coney Island. Conlin, J. (ed.). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, p. 49-77 (Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture)
Promenade en bord de ville; espace périphérique et activité récréative dans la ville anglaise et galloises, de 1700 à 1900Borsay, P. 2012 Esthétiques de la ville britannique (XVIIIe-XIXe siècles) : Hommage à Jacques Carré. Dubois, P. & Tadié, A. (eds.). Paris: Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, p. 83-104
Town or Country? British Spas and the Urban-Rural InterfaceBorsay, P. 2012 In : Journal of Tourism History.4, 2, p. 155-169
Negotiating modernity and the past: historiography, society and culture in the English town c. 1700-1900Borsay, P. 2012 In : Revista de Historiografía.16, p. 4-118 p.
From port to resort: Tenby and narratives of transition 1760-1914Borsay, P. 2011 Resorts and Ports: European Seaside Towns since 1700. Borsay, P. & Walton, J. (eds.). Channel View Publications, p. 86-112
Walks and promenades in London and provincial Britain in the long eighteenth centuryBorsay, P. 2011 La Promenade au Tournant des XVIIIe et XIXe Siêcles. Loir, C. & Turcot, L. (eds.). Brussels: Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, p. 79-9517 p. (Etudes sur le XVIIIe siecle)
Resorts and Ports: European Seaside Towns Since 1700Borsay, P. (ed.) & Walton, J. K. (ed.) 2011 Channel View Publications. 240 p.
Introduction: the port-resort relationshipBorsay, P. & Walton, J. 2011 Resorts and Ports: European Seaside Towns since 1700. Borsay, P. & Walton, J. K. (eds.). Channel View Publications, p. 1-17
Londres entre 1660 et 1800: une culture specifiqueBorsay, P. 2010 Londres 1700-1900: Naissance d'une capitale culturelle. Carre, J. (ed.). Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, p. 85-11026 p.
Warwickshire towns in the age of DugdaleBorsay, P. N. 2009 William Dugdale, Historian, 1605-1686: His Life, his Writings and His County. Dyer, C. & Richardson, C. (eds.). 1 ed.Boydell & Brewer, p. 187-20822 p.
Invention, Innovation and the Creative Milieu in Urban BritainBorsay, P. N. 2009 Creative Urban Milieus: Historical Perspectives on Culture, Economy and the City. Hesler, M. & Zimmermann, C. (eds.). University of Chicago Press, p. 77-9822 p.
The growth of Georgian spasBorsay, P. 2009 BBC History Magazine - Great Days Out. Wingrove, S. (ed.). Immediate Media Company, p. 16-205 p.
The Georgian house: the making of a heritage iconBorsay, P. 2009 Valuing Historic Environments. Gibson, L. & Pendlebury, J. (eds.). Taylor & Francis, p. 157-17721 p.
Welsh Seaside Resorts: Historiography, Sources and ThemesBorsay, P. N. 2008 In : Cylchgrawn Hanes Cymru | Welsh History Review.24, 2, p. 92-11928 p.
Le Développement des Villes Balnéaires dans L'Angleterre GérgienneBorsay, P. N. 2008 Les Villes Balneaires d'Europe Occidentale du XVIIIe siècle à Nos Jours. Poussou, J-P., Lottin, A. & Perret-Gentil, Y. (eds.). Presses de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, p. 13-3422 p.
Concert Topography and Provincial Towns in Eighteenth-Century EnglandBorsay, P. N. 2008 Espaces et lieux de concert en Europe 1700-1920: Architecture, musique, société. Bodeker, H. E., Veit, P. & Werner, M. (eds.). Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, p. 35-5016 p.
A History of Leisure: The British Experience Since 1500Borsay, P. 2006 Springer Nature. 328 p.
New Approaches to Social History. Myth, Memory and Place: Monmouth and Bath 1750-1900Borsay, P. 2006 In : Journal of Social History.39, 3, p. 867-88923 p.
Pouvoir et culture au sein de la métropole des Lumières: les îles britanniques 1660-1800Borsay, P. 2005 In : Histoire Urbaine.1, 12, p. 117-14428 p.
Provincial Towns in Early Modern England and Ireland: Change, Convergence and DivergenceBorsay, P. & Proudfoot, L. 2002 Oxford University Press. 296 p.