Hanna Steyne Chamberlin

Email: Hanna.steynechamberlin@manchester.ac.uk
Twitter: @hlsteyne
Academia: https://manchester.academia.edu/HannaSteyne
Blog: https://onefootinthemud.wordpress.com/

Previous education

1997 – 2000 BA (hons) Archaeology, University College London
2000 – 2001 MA Maritime Archaeology, University of Southampton

Thesis Title

A River Runs Through It: An archaeological investigation of the social and economic impacts and effects of the Thames Embankment construction at Chelsea, London, 1850-1889.


Prof. Eleanor Casella & Dr Hannah Cobb

Research Summary

Victorian London saw dramatic physical changes as the city adapted to its ballooning population, industrialisation and a growing international shipping industry. Much of the city’s growth relied on the Thames, which enabled the movement of people and goods into, out of and around the city via hundreds of river front wharves, docks, quays that would have employed thousands. Many people’s livelihoods relied on access to the river and the presence of riverside businesses. The construction of the Victoria, Chelsea and Albert Embankments saw the demolition of the working riverside landscape, along with large areas of working-class housing, and their replacement with wide roads, tree lined promenades and solid granite walls acting as a barrier between land and river. The Thames Embankments have been hailed as Victorian engineering triumphs; however their celebration has overshadowed the wholesale removal of employment opportunities along the riverside and the fate of those whose livelihood relied on access to the river.

My research uses historical and archaeological material to examine the social and economic impacts of the construction of the Chelsea Embankment on Chelsea’s working-class riverside residents and will bring both an archaeological and riverine focus to the historiography of 19th century London. In doing so, it examines the significance of watery places with regards to notions of community, cultural landscapes, and sense of place for waterside residents. It also addresses the difficulties that the maritime vs urban landscape dichotomy poses for urban port studies.

Research Interests

My research interests cover a range of topics explored through my PhD related to the relationships between people, place and things, particularly in waterside environments. Specifically I am interested in the implications of disrupting these relationships through imposed landscape change, such as the Victorian Embankment construction, but also how this relates to 21st century urban regeneration or infrastructure projects. I am also interested in the implications of a deeper understanding of people’s relationships with place for heritage management and urban planning/regeneration practices.

With previous experience working in maritime archaeology and heritage management, I also have an interest in the management and in situ conservation of historic shipwreck sites and the investigation of submerged prehistoric landscapes; all of which are subjects in which I have published my work.

Publications (PhD related)

Steyne, H., (in prep). A River Runs Through It: Investigating the impacts and effects of the Chelsea Embankment construction on working-class riverside residents. Proceedings of the 6th International Congress on Underwater Archaeology (IKUWA 6), November 2016, Fremantle, WA, Australia.

Steyne, H., 2013. Stinking Foreshore to Tree Lined Avenue: Investigating the Riverine Lives Impacted by the Construction of the Thames Embankments in Victorian London. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 23(1): 13, pp. 1-11, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.429

Steyne, H. 2016. Fieldwork Report. Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Newsletter 81, Autumn: 5-7 https://www.academia.edu/30540593/SPMA_Newsletter_Fieldwork_Report

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