Location, location, location: reassessing W.H.K. Turner’s legacy for industrial geography in Scotland and beyond

Publication Name

Scottish Geographical Journal


For more than three decades between the 1950s and the 1980s, W.H.K. (Keith) Turner was a valued colleague and teacher in the Department of Geography at University College, Dundee (later, the University of Dundee). During that time, he researched extensively on the industrial development of Dundee and its environs, as well as the linen industry in East-Central Scotland more generally. His approach, combining a detailed understanding of human geography in its local setting alongside a recognition of the importance of physical geography on the development of industrial landscapes, was exemplary in its clarity and insight; and his recognition and explication of what he described as ‘industrial inertia’–the long-term inertial effects of landscape features and natural resource use on patterns of industrial development–offers scholars the potential to look anew at long-established questions about how, when and why industrialisation took place during the First Industrial Revolution in Britain. In this review, we argue that Turner’s approach deserves a much wider audience, and much greater consideration in future work on patterns of industrialisation in Scotland and beyond.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access



Link to publisher version (DOI)