Lunchtime Talks: ‘The Great Stink!’ with Dr Tom Crook

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‘The Great Stink!’ Engineers, sewerage systems and the Victorian battle against dirt

How did we get from the cesspools of the medieval period to the sewerage systems of today?

Join us for the start of our 2023-24 Lunchtime Talks series with a fascinating talk on the engineering ingenuity and ambition of the Victorians in Oxford and beyond, led by Dr Tom Crook (Oxford Brookes University).

The talk will explore how, as Britain’s towns and cities put on ever more demographic weight during the nineteenth century, the Victorians found the solution to a public sanitation crisis in the building of vast, hyper-complex subterranean systems and outfall works.

Dr Tom Crook is a historian of modern Britain and reader of Modern British History at Oxford Brooke’s University, whose research focuses on statecraft, politics and governance in Britain.

Sales from tickets help support our work to deliver fun and accessible family activities, community engagement projects, schools workshops, exhibitions and special events for Oxford’s people in our Museum spaces.

Please feel free to bring along your lunch or a coffee from the Town Hall café!

Tickets are available for £6 online and £5 from the Museum of Oxford Gift Shop.

Looking for more? Local historian Mark Davies will be leading a ‘Canal, Castle and Chapel Walk’ at 2:30pm along the Thames, beginning at a site that was used as a notorious open sewer up until the 1860s. Find out more here.

Due to a fault with the lift to the Museum basement, this event is no longer accessible for wheelchair users or those who require use of a lift. Assistance can be provided for stair access (18 steps). We apologise for the inconvenience.

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