Are you interested in the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire? How local communities have arisen, developed and perhaps declined over time?  Liz Woolley is a local historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire. She is particularly interested in the history of the city’s “town” – as opposed to “gown” – and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Liz has lived in Oxford since 1984. She completed an MSc in English Local History (with Distinction) at the University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education in 2009, having gained a Diploma (also with Distinction) in the same subject in 2007. She is an experienced speaker, guide, tutor, researcher and writer who is keen to help individuals and groups to enjoy finding out about the history of their local area.

Click here to see Liz’s full CV.

Click here to hear Liz talking about being Miss August in the 2021 Dull Men’s Club calendar, on the Kat Orman Show, BBC Radio Oxford, January 2021 (courtesy of Kat Orman and BBC Radio Oxford).

Click here to read Liz’s First Person piece in The Oxford Times and Oxford Mail, August 2020.

Click here to listen to Liz in conversation with Rawz and Patrick McGuinness on Jeremy Allen’s Oxford Lives podcast in December 2023, and click here to listen to Liz interviewed on the podcast in October 2019.


Local history publications and research interests

  • Lowe & Oliver: A Century in Power, a book to celebrate the centenary of this Oxfordshire family-run electrical contracting firm, 2023. Request a free copy of the book here.














  • A Short History of Lloyds Bank, 1-5 High Street, Oxford, a report for Brasenose College, 2019. Read the report or download a copy here. (Cover image courtesy of Ryan Cowan.)







  • Changing Oxford: Fifty years of Oxford Civic Society 1969 – 2019, published on-line in April 2019 by the Oxford Civic Society. Read the report or download a copy here.







  • Kingerlee Ltd: celebrating 150 years of craftmanship in construction, 1868 – 2018 by Liz Woolley and Siân Smith, published June 2018 by Kingerlee Ltd. The book can be downloaded as a pdf here or printed copies are available (for free) from Kingerlee Ltd. A Blue Plaque to Thomas Henry Kingerlee was unveiled at the River Hotel, Botley Road, Oxford, in June 2021.




  • DVD cover, front and spine only66 Men of Grandpont 1914-18, a 40-minute documentary film by Simon Haynes and Liz Woolley, published May 2016. Read more about it here and watch the film on-line here.





  • No Other Way: Oxfordshire and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39 by Chris Farman, Valery Rose and Liz Woolley, published January 2015 by the International Brigade Memorial Trust. Copies (£5) available from Blackwell’s in Oxford, Daunt Books in Summertown, or by contacting me.





  • Oxford’s Working Past: Walking Tours of Victorian and Edwardian Industrial Buildings published May 2012, second edition September 2013, by Huxley Scientific Press. Copies (£5) available from Blackwell’s in Oxford, Daunt Books in Summertown, or by contacting me.

“[Your book] took me to places I knew well but didn’t know the history of, and to other places I’d never been to before. What a treasure trove of information!”  Bob Johnson, Researcher, Oxford, September 2015

“I took the book with me into Oxford and learned more about the city’s working buildings in a morning than I had in the previous 40 years living here.”  John Grundy, ‘Great Rail Journeys’ Tour Manager and former Open University tutor, October 2012

  • “‘Disreputable Housing in a Disreputable Parish’?: Common Lodging-houses in St. Thomas’, Oxford, 1841 – 1901” Midland History, Vol 35, no 2, Autumn 2010.
  • MSc thesis (2009): Disreputable Housing in a Disreputable Parish: Common Lodging-Houses in St Thomas’, Oxford, 1841-1901.
  • MSc research (2008/09): Child labour in the industrial revolution, with particular emphasis on Oxfordshire; The social history of architecture, 1870 to 1914, with particular emphasis on the industrial buildings of late Victorian and Edwardian Oxford.
  • “In the Footsteps of the Past” Oxford Times, Limited Edition Magazine, February 2008.
  • St Thomas the Martyr Parochial School: An Early Twentieth-century Model School in an Impoverished City Parish. OAHS essay prize winner 2007.