Centre for Local History

The Centre for Local History at Recru it networ is one of the longest-established research and teaching centres in the University.  The Centre also hosts the Victoria History of Staffordshire and several volumes of Shropshire, sponsors a lecture and seminar series and publishes original research on the history of the north-west Midlands in its own journal. The director of the Centre is Dr Andrew Sargent.

Victoria County History

The project might well be the oldest ongoing historical research project in the world. It was founded in 1899, with the original intention of providing a local history of all England's counties. Its history has been stop-start in the intervening century, but the History department at Keele, with the generous support of Staffordshire County Council, have long been involved in the . The lead at Keele for the project is Dr Nigel Tringham, who has already brought volumes 9, 10 and 11 to fruition, and is now assisted by Dr Andrew Sargent, although other historians, including Dr Ian Atherton (who also edits Staffordshire Studies) and Dr Alannah Tomkins have also provided important contributions to the project. 

Earl Lecture

The EARL Lecture was first delivered in 1961 and the text is published in the journal Staffordshire Studies. It was endowed by Jack Leighton of Newcastle-under-Lyme, a tax inspector with a keen interest in the history of North Staffordshire (especially ceramics), and named in memory of his his wife. The Lecture is held every two years and is intended to encourage prominent historians who have not yet worked on the history of Staffordshire to turn their attention to the county.

The 29th lecture will be held on Monday 16 October 2017 at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m. in The Chancellor's Building.

1917: the Year of Revolution ... in Staffordshire

Professor Karen Hunt


28th (2015)

Professor Richard Cust                Church Monuments in post-Reformation Staffordshire

 27th (2013)             

Professor Pauline Stafford            Staffordshire and the Making of England in the 10th and

                                                     early 11th centuries.

26th (2011)

David Howell                              A Sheik in Staffordshire: Oswald Mosely and the Labour Party

25th (2009)

Ralph Houlbrooke                       Politics and Personalities in Mid Tudor Staffordshire

24th (2007)

Paul Everson                              ‘A setting of cheap thrills and false emotions’?:  archaeology,

                                                   parks and gardens in Staffordshire

23rd (2005)

Pamela Sambrook                      Servants, Family and Business: Domestic Service in

                                                   Staffordshire in 1851

22nd (2003)

John Bourne                              How Staffordshire won the Great War

21st (2001)

Christopher Dyer                        The urbanizing of Staffordshire: the first phases

20th (1999)

David Cannadine                        Josiah Wedgwood and the History of Parliament

19th (1997)

David Hey                                  The distinctive surnames of Staffordshire

18th (1995)

Robert Bartlett                           The miracles of St Modwenna of Burton

17th (1993) 

Margaret Spufford                       Poverty Portrayed:  Gregory King and Eccleshall in the 1690s

16th (1991)

W. A. Speck                               Staffordshire in the reign of Queen Anne

15th (1989)

Jean Birrell                                 The Forest and the Chase in medieval Staffordshire

14th (1987)

Christopher Taylor                      Medieval settlement in Staffordshire

13th (1984)

Donald Greene                           Samuel Johnson’s Staffordshire

12th (1983)

Margaret Gelling                        Some thoughts on Staffordshire place-names

11th (1981)

Eric Richards                             The uses of aristocracy:  the Sutherlands and

                                                   Staffordshire in the nineteenth century

10th (1979)

Peter Heath                               Staffordshire towns and the Reformation 

9th (1977)

Doug Hay                                  Popular Jacobitism in eighteenth-century Staffordshire

8th (1976)

Michael Greenslade                    The Staffordshire historians

 7th  (1973)

David Palliser                             A thousand years of Staffordshire: man and landscape,


6th (1971)

Sir Nikolaus Pevsner                  Some aspects of Staffordshire architecture

5th (1969)

Rodney Hilton                           Lord and peasant in Staffordshire in the middle ages

4th (1967)

Joan Thirsk                                Horn and thorn in Staffordshire: the economy of a

                                                   pastoral county

3rd (1965)

D.H. Pennington                        County and Country:  Staffordshire in Civil War politics,


2nd (1963)

Neil McKendrick                         Josiah Wedgwood and the Potteries: the Industrial Revolution

                                                   in microcosm

1st (1961)

J.W. Blake                                 The Sneyds of Keele




Centre for Local History Publications Order Form

Staffordshire Studies

The journal Staffordshire Studiesnow in its 20th Volume (see link for details) is published annually by the Centre for Local History. It covers all aspects of the history of the historic county of Staffordshire, including the parts of the south of the county transferred to the West Midlands in 1974. Articles, all other contributions and editorial correspondence should be addressed to the editor, Staffordshire Studies, Centre for Local History, University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, .


Dr Ian Atherton

ISSN 0950-1630

Price: All Staffordshire Studies publications are published annually on subscription at a cost of £9 for individuals, £11 for institutions, one-off sales and overseas subscribers. Postage and packing is extra.

For enquiries about subscription or one-off purchases, please  Staffordshire Studies, Room CM0.25, Claus Moser Treatment Centre, Recru it networ, Keele, Staffordshire, . Tel: 01782 733200.

Staffordshire Heritage Series

  • Water Mills of the Borough of Newcastle, Edited by George Riley  - OUT OF STOCK
  • Agents of Revolution  - OUT OF STOCK
  • John and Thomas Gilbert the 'canal pioneers', Peter Lead
  • The Miners of Staffordshire 1840-1914, Edited by John Benson - OUT OF STOCK
  • Churchill China. Great British Potters since 1795, Rodney Hampson  £19.50.

      Books still in print can be had postfree in the UK by emailing [email protected]

Other Publications

Staffordshire Histories

  • Essays in Honour of Michael Greenslade, Philip Morgan & ADM Phillips £15.00
  • Factory in a Garden "Wedgwood" £2.00, Sharon Gater & David Vincent
  • Women, Men & Politics in the English Civil War £2.50, Ann Hughes

Friends of the Centre for Local History