As part of our continuing work on the HistEvents system, users are temporarily not receiving emails. Please just send details of your event to and we will list it for you.

Work, Play and Protest: Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Structures, 1500-c.1900

April 29, 2017
University of Oxford Institute for Continuing Education

Ashmolean Museum
United Kingdom

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


Think of the historic built environment and what comes to mind are churches, palaces and grand civic buildings: architecture defined by being enduring and monumental. Yet there were also less durable structures. While the elaborate occasional architecture built for the most magnificent public celebrations has been studied by historians of art and architecture, much else remains hidden: practical and functional structures, like the booths and stalls that defined early modern commercial activity, or the pavilions, pagodas and tents that were devised for some of the period’s grandest patrons and events.

This course celebrates the hidden world of ephemeral architecture, bringing together exciting work being done on the full spectrum of temporary structures, to reveal their role in shaping the social, cultural, political, religious and economic lives of people in the past.

Directors of Studies:

  • Dr Paul Barnwell, OUDCE
  • Dr Julie Fargusson, St Hilda’s College, Oxford
  • Dr Elaine Tierney, V&A Research Institute (VARI)

 The Saturday morning session will be held in the Ashmolean Museum which contains a number of works of art illustrating ephemeral structures. Those wishing to attend should meet in Reception at Rewley House at 1100 sharp. Note that the walk to and from the Museum is at students’ own risk.



1030    Registration opens

1100    Depart for Ashmolean Museum

1300    Lunch at Rewley House

1400    Portable palaces: English royal tents and timber lodgings in the 16th century

Dr Alden Gregory

1500    Impermanence and preservationism in 17th-century English architectural culture

Dr Olivia Horsfall Turner

1600    Tea

1630    Fleet of foot? The ephemeral architecture of the racecourse

Dr Oliver Cox

1730    'Our wondring Sight what various Structures strike!': Royal Kew Gardens in the 1760s

Mr Matthew Storey

1845    Dinner

2000    Fleeting forms: forts and ships in England’s early colonies

Emily Mann


0900    Ephemeral Methodist spaces in 19th-century London

Ruth Slatter

1000    London's Smithfield Market in the 18th century

Dr Spike Sweeting

1100    Coffee

1130    Buildings of the democratic and labour movements in 19th-century England

Dr Katrina Navickas,

1245    Lunch and Disperse

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




April 29, 2017, 9:00am BST

External Site

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

This event has been submitted and is maintained by:

IHR Webmaster (Moderator)
(Institute of Historical Research)

You should login and contact this user if you believe the information on this page needs updating.

If you judge that this event entry is inappropriate, please login and report it.