• Room 02.033 - Geography Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am open to PhD applications in the fields of: --Historical/cultural geography --Landscape history/archaeology --History of cartography/archaeology of cartography --Urban morphology/urban history/urban archaeology


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

I am an historical geographer with particular research expertise in interpreting historic landscapes, maps, and built environments.

My research covers the fields of: Historical/cultural geography; Landscape history/archaeology; Histories of cartography/archaeology of cartography; Urban morphology/urban history/urban archaeology; Heritage studies/heritage practice.

Current projects include combining GIS and prosopography in analysing historic maps of Britain and Ireland, and tracing global histories of field-surveying and geodetics through landscapes and maps.

In recognition of my professional contribution to Geography, in 2018 I received from the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) the Cuthbert Peek Award 

"For advancing geographical knowledge through the application of contemporary methods, including GIS and mapping."

Funded research projects over the past 20 years that have helped achieve this include "Mapping Medieval Townscapes" (http://www.qub.ac.uk/urban_mapping/), "Mapping Medieval Chester" (http://www.medievalchester.ac.uk/), "Linguistic Geographies" (http://www.goughmap.org/), "City Witness" (http://www.medievalswansea.ac.uk/en/), and "Surveying Empires" (http://www.surveyingempires.org/).

These projects have shaped the broader field of Geohumanities, as well as cross-disciplinary research agendas through collaborating with research organisations, non-academic partners and local communities both within the UK and around the globe.

I am currently Chair of the Historic Towns Trust (HTT), a charitable organisation that oversees the production of the British Historic Towns Atlas series (see http://historictownsatlas.org.uk/) as part of the wider international European historic towns atlases project (seehttp://www.historictownsatlas.org.uk/hta-programme) established in 1955.

My books include:

• Urban Life in the Middle Ages: 1000-1450 (Palgrave, 2002) 
• City and Cosmos: The Medieval World in Urban Form (Reaktion, 2009)
• Mapping Medieval Geographies (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

My current and recent funded research projects include:

• ‘Living Legacies 1914-18: From Past Conflict to Shared Future’ – an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded public engagement centre based at Queen’s University Belfast to foster collaborations between academic and community researchers on heritage of World War 1 – for more information see http://www.livinglegacies1914-18.ac.uk/ 

• ‘Mapping Lineages: Quantifying the Evolution of Maps of the British Isles’ – a Leverhulme Trust funded project in collaboration with University of Liverpool and National University of Ireland Maynooth, in partnership with the British Library, to result in a new interactive mapping platform allowing users to navigate the changing nature of cartography of Britain and Ireland.

• ‘Inventor of Britain: The Complete Works of Humphrey Llwyd’ – an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project in collaboration with University of Exeter and National Library of Wales, to explore Humphrey Llwyd’s work as a Renaissance geographer and cartographer at a particularly exciting point in the long history of European cartography.

• ‘Surveying Empires – Archaeologies of Colonial Cartography’ – a project funded by the British Academy exploring the material cultures of surveying and map-making in India through the field-practices the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, evaluating and interpreting the sites, locales and landscape legacies of ‘colonial cartography’ in a post-colonial world.


Awards and Distinctions

  • Institute Fellow, The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, QUB, 2016-
  • Institute Fellow, Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities (ICRH), QUB, 2013
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, 2008
  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 2006-7
  • British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, 1996-1999 

Elected and appointed positions on external research bodies:

  • Chair, Historic Towns Trust/British Historic Towns Atlas, 2014-
  • Board Member, International Commission of the History of Towns (ICHT), 2011-
  • Chair, ‘Spatial Technologies and the Medieval City’ (STeMCity) research network, 2011-13
  • UK Co-representative, General Assembly of the International Commission of the History of Towns (ICHT), 2010-
  • Board member, British Historic Towns Atlas Committee, 2006-
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHS), elected 2005.
  • Council Officer (Treasurer), 2005-2008, International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF)
  • Conference officer, 1997-2000, Historical Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.
  • Committee member, 1998-2000, 2003-2006, Medieval Settlement Research Group. 



Current Teaching:

GGY1011 Human Geographies of the Modern World

GGY2002 GIS and Landscapes

GGY3030 Maps and Mappings




Current Administrative Roles

School of NBE, Director of Research ('Culture & Society')

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Research Output

Landscape mapping and symbolic form: drawing as a creative medium in cultural geography

Lilley, K., 2000, Cultural Turns/ Geographical Turns. Ryan, J., Naylor, S., Crouch, D. & Cook, I. (eds.). London: Longman, p. 231 245 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Decline or decay? Urban landscapes in late-medieval England

Lilley, K., 2000, Towns in Decline. AD100-1600. Slater, T. (ed.). Ashgate Publishing, p. 235 265 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Exploring change in urban areas using GIS: data sources, linkages and problems

Lilley, K., Lloyd, C., Shuttleworth, I. & Gregory, I., Mar 2012, In : Annals of GIS. 18, 1, p. 71-80 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

A silent witness? Medieval urban landscapes and unfolding their mapping histories

Lilley, K. D. & Dean, G., 2015, In : Journal of Medieval History. 41, 3, p. 273-291 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Citations (Scopus)

    Maps of Medieval Thought? Cartographical Imaginaries, Cultural Symbolism and Urban Forms of the Late Middle Ages

    Lilley, K., Oct 2015, Lords and Towns in Medieval Europe: The European Historic Towns Atlas Project. Simms, A. & Clarke, H. B. (eds.). Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, p. 399-418 20 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

    Lilley, Keith (Recipient), 2005

    Prize: Election to learned society

    Leverhulme Research Fellowship

    Lilley, Keith (Recipient), 2006

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Mapping medieval geographies conference, UCLA

    Lilley, Keith (Recipient), 2009

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Royal Geographical Society's (RGS) Cuthbert Peek Award

    Lilley, Keith (Recipient), 04 Jun 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Revisiting New Towns of the Middle Ages - a conference and field seminar

    Keith Lilley (Organiser)

    May 2010

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

    Castle towns and conquerors conference

    Keith Lilley (Keynote/plenary speaker)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    The Language of Maps

    Keith Lilley (Organiser)

    Jun 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    11th European Urban History Conference

    Keith Lilley (Speaker)

    Aug 2012

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference



    Mapping spaces: towards a quantitative methodology for exploring maps and mapping in early modern Ireland, c.1530-1610

    Author: Porter, C., 2014

    Supervisor: Lilley, K. (Supervisor) & Ell, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy