International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 533–557 | Cite as

Beside the Seaside. The Archaeology of the Twentieth-Century English Seaside Holiday Experience: A Phenomenological Context

  • Niall FinneranEmail author


A recent survey commissioned by English Heritage highlights the rich cultural history of the traditional English seaside resort (Brodie and Winter 2007). Emerging in the eighteenth century, these towns grew in significance before the advent of cheaper continental holidays in the 1960s signalled their demise. Nevertheless they retain an affectionate place within English social memory, and are in their own right distinctive maritime communities. Using an archaeological case study and a broadly phenomenological approach this contribution analyzes the experience of the resort holiday through reference to place, space, and materiality. Further, it seeks to situate the English seaside resort, as a functionally distinctive post-medieval urban and maritime phenomenon, within a global context of the archaeology of tourism.


Maritime archaeology Tourism Phenomenology Materiality 



A debt of thanks is owed to two anonymous referees who made many useful suggestions to the initial draft resulting in a far better end result. Dr. Joseph Flatman of Historic England commented on the first sketchy idea of this paper, and to his credit he saw some merit in it. Alex Bellisario of the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeology Network (CITiZAN) and Lola Tydgadt of the University of Liege provided much needed archaeological survey help while surveying the remains of inter-war bungalows on the sand spit at Dawlish Warren as part of my wider South East Devon maritime and estuarine archaeology project, which has been funded by the University of Winchester and supported by the Museum of London’s community archaeology CITiZAN initiative.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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