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Carry van Lieshout BA MA PhD

Carry van Lieshout BA MA PhD

Research Associate

Historical Geographer with research interests in Economic History and Environmental History


I am a historical geographer with research interests in socio-economic and environmental history. My research is mainly focused on Great Britain in the long 18th and 19th centuries.


  • 2006-2007 Research Assistant, 'Women Investors in England and Wales, 1870-1930', King's College London
  • 2008-2012 PhD on water management in 18th-century London, King's College London
  • 2013-2015 Research Associate on the environmental and cultural histories of the Derbyshire soughs, University of Nottingham
  • 2015-2016 Lecturer Water, Landscape & GIS, University of Groningen, NL


  • PhD, King's College London (2013)
  • MA, King's College London (2005)
  • BA, University College Utrecht (2004)


I am an historical geographer with research interests in socio-economic and environmental history. I am particularly interested in questions of ownership and access, which I have studied in the context of wealth and shareholding, as well as in changing practices towards natural resources.

My doctoral research (King's College London, 2013) on the management of water in eighteenth-century London combined a spatial analysis of surface water with archival research, and argued that access to water was increasingly mediated by private water companies as a result of the increasing distance between water and households.

My postdoctoral research has investigated the environmental history of subsurface water conflicts in the context of Derbyshire's lead mining soughs (underground drainage channels), using a vertical geography framework to map water conflicts between surface and sub-surface stakeholders.

In addition, I have worked on an economic history project researching local bias in the investor population in Britain between 1870 and 1930, using GIS analysis of a large database of individual shareholders to examine changes in distances between individuals, companies, and stock exchanges over time.

I currently work on the 'Drivers of Entrepreneurship' project, with a particular focus on female entrepreneurs and company directors.


Selected publications

  • Van Lieshout, C., 'Droughts and Dragons: the impact of geography, rainfall, and technology on the expansion of eighteenth-century London's water supply networks', Technology and Culture 57
  • Rutterford, J., Sotiropoulos, D., and Van Lieshout, C., 'Individual Investors and Local Bias in the UK: 1870-1935', Economic History Review.
  • Van Lieshout, C., '"The most valuable means of extinguishing the destroying fires": firefighting and the London water companies in the long eighteenth century', The London Journal.