School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Clare Hickman

Senior Lecturer in History


I am an environmental and medical historian focusing on post 1750 Britain. My recent Wellcome Fellowship, The Garden as a Laboratory, merged the history of medicine, health and science, with that of the landscape and environment. Other areas of expertise include the design and use of nineteenth and twentieth-century English hospital and asylum gardens, cold bathing as a healthy activity in the eighteenth-century landscape garden and the role of medical practitioners in the Victorian parks movement. By examining the creation and use of green and blue spaces in relation to changing medical concepts, my research crosses the disciplinary boundaries of medical history, landscape history and history of science.


I am also developing sensory history projects on the role of pine scent in health and wellbeing, and birds as co-producers of sensory spaces in hospital settings. Another new strand is the history of walking and path making in twentieth century Britain in relation to gender, health and physical diversity, which I am developing with colleagues at Oxford Brookes and Exeter Universities.


Before arriving at Newcastle in 2019, I was a Senior Lecturer in History at the University Chester, a Wellcome Fellow in Medical History & Humanities at King’s College London (2013-15) and a Research Fellow on the Leverhulme funded Historic Parks & Gardens of England project at the University of Bristol (2007-2012). I have also worked as a museum assistant, writer and editor for Usborne publishing and as a Research Facilitator for Oxford University.


I am currently leading a network funded by the Wellcome Trust, 'MedEnv: Intersections in Medical and Environmental Humanities' with colleagues at Liverpool and Bristol Universities. Our ambition is to lead research in this field from an historically-informed humanities standpoint and to develop future research collaborations to consider the rich nature of human and non-human interrelationships and their impact on health and wellbeing.