M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Megan Doole

History, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Reconstructing Wollaton Hall: From Elizabethan Showcase to 21st century museum.

The current working title is: Revisiting the history of an individual country house estate heritage site: Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire. 

Research Area

  • History


Contributor to The Buildings of England, Nottinghamshire, Hartwell, Pevsner, & Williamson, Yale UP (2020). 

Chapter: Identification of the urban infrastructure of nineteenth-century horse transport: a case study of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK in Turner, D. (Ed.). (2020). Transport and Its Place in History. London: Routledge.


  • 2023 June, Family Archives and their Afterlives 1400-present (Leverhulme Trust), University of Birmingham: 20 min 'The family aspect of estate archives and its representation in the histories' of individual country house estates' 

  • 2021 February, Hidden Histories, History PG Conference, Nottinghan Trent University: 20 min 'The ways in which the history of a country house can be obscured, and is it time for a new research approach? Reflections on a study of Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire.'

  •  2020 August, 'Distance2020' International Postgraduate Conference, Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York: e-Lightning Talk & Q&A, 'Revealing Global Wollaton: assessment of the significance of distant trade activities on an English country seat, c1700.'

  • 2020 July, M4C Research Festival: e-presentation = Revealing Global Wollaton, Part I.  This is a work-in-progress presentation about my exploration of one research theme (Global Wollaton) as part of the construction of a comprehensive narrative history from the 1650s for the country seat of Wollaton Hall, near Nottingham, and its owners, the Willoughby family. This theme will illuminate the connections of the family and the place with people and places beyond England. One of the many reasons for such connections in the decades around 1700 was wealth creation through trade, often via the new Trading Companies. My challenge is to uncover the specific instances and assess the significance of their influence on the history of this site.  Annotation 2020-07-14 124645.jpg

  • 2020 May (cancelled), 18th Historic Houses Conference, Maynooth University : 'When my Master came': the seventeenth century re-establishment of the Willoughby family at their principal country seat: Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire. Abstract at  cshihe.wordpress.com/conference-2020/

  • 2018 Animal History Group Conference, KCL: The "oat-powered engine" and its urban infrastructure 1820-1920

Public Engagement & Impact

  • 2023 October, Talk for UoN History Festival/Local History Seminar: 'Four Lords (and Ladies) and their 'improvements' to Wollaton Park in the eighteenth century.'
  • 2022 April - August, 16 week p/t research/employability placement with the Curator of National Trust Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire. The output document (31,000 words) is intended to assist a Volunteer Research Group for the site, with Visitor Interpretation. 
  • 2022 Spring, research formed most of article by A Hamilton (ed.), The Reredos at St Leonard's, Newsletter 22 of WH&CS, p.7. 
  • 2021 June, Co-authored article in Wollaton Churches link 56/6: A revelation at Wollaton.......
  • 2021 Co-authored article in Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust Newsletter 15: A revelation at Wollaton, The reredos at St Leonard's Church.

  • 2017 Talk given to Retford Civic Society: Retford Town Hall building history

  • 2017 Talk given to IHBC NW Branch (Manchester): Horse transport & the urban built environment 1820-1920

Other Research Interests

  • Clumber Park (c1700 & 1760s), Nottinghamshire, and the Pelham-Clinton family, Dukes of Newcastle, c1700 - c1940. 

  • Worksop Manor Lodge (c1595) and other buildings connected to the Earls of Shrewsbury in North Nottinghamshire & South Yorkshire.

  • The history of Shireoaks Hall (c1615), Nottinghamshire, in particular, Sir Thomas Hewett (1656-1726), Surveyor-General of the Royal Works and gentleman-architect.

  • 19th-century horse transport buildings in urban areas, case study of Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

  • Reftord Town Hall (1867) building history.


Royal Historical Society (PG mem), SAHGB, Georgian Group, Historic Buildings and Places (AMS), Historical Geography Research Group, The Thoroton Society, Nottinghamshire Local History Society, British Association for Local History, Birbeck Garden History Group, WHaCS, VAG, Wolfson College, Cambridge.

Brief Bio

I am a building and historic site historian who concentrates on 'people and place', currently investigating the post-1650 history of Wollaton Hall, Nottingham. MSt Building History (University of Cambridge), MA Heritage Education (Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln). I previously worked for the National Trust for 11 years, and at other sites.