George’s main research field is the historic environment, employing a multi-disciplinary approach combining documentary history with field work and archaeological excavation. His particular interests are building history, rural landscape history, garden history, urban topography and industrial archaeology. He has concentrated his activities in the West Midlands, in an area extending from Sandwell to Coventry, but has worked on a number of projects elsewhere.
George’s principal industrial archaeological project has been the study of the Soho Manufactory, Mint and Foundry, acting as consultant to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. In 1996 the opening of Soho House as a museum provided the opportunity to invite Channel 4’s Time Team to undertake their first industrial archaeological dig. The sites of both the Soho Manufactory and Mint were successfully located and revealed. George is also a keen molinologist and has undertaken a detailed documentary and field study of Birmingham’s watermills. He initiated and advised on the excavation of the Hill Hook Mill in Sutton Coldfield, Lifford Mills in King’s Norton and Northfield Mill.
George is particularly pleased with his discovery of two hitherto unknown rentals of Birmingham, which have transformed our knowledge of the mediaeval borough. He has also produced a history of Kings Norton with Stephen Price.