The Founding Director of Explore History is Dr. Scott McLean. Scott has a PhD in Modern British history and a Masters in British medieval history. He began his academic career at the University of Guelph, Canada, before moving to England in 1999 to work at Queen’s University (Canada) Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle. Teaching at the BISC offered the opportunity to not only meet some wonderful students and travel to historic sites, but teach a wide range of courses in British and European history (sometimes as many as 15 courses a year!) It also allowed him to dabble in archaeology.

This resulted in him establishing the schools first Field School in British Archaeology and through this make some amazing discoveries. It also allowed him to indulge one of his other great passions – collecting old documents and items of historical interest. This website is built upon this life-long interest in things historical, his passion for teaching – at all age levels – and exploring history.

Browse through this section to learn a little more about Explore History’s Director, Dr. Scott McLean. Scott has been an academic for the past 20 years and over that time researched and taught upon a wide range of topics, both historical and archaeological.

Select Publications


The Unusual Histories of a Curious Dog. (Children’s) Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd., 2024

Memoir of a Victorian Antiquarian, Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd. 2021

Guest Editor (With Nick Baxter-Moore)Special Edition “Canada Abroad” British Journal of Canadian Studies. 2014.

With Nancy Leveque, Researching Your Ancestors in Simcoe County: A Study in Migratory Patterns and Family History. Simcoe County Genealogical Society, 2012.

With Michael Vance, William Wye Smith: The Recollections of a Nineteenth Century Scottish Canadian. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, 2008.

From Lochnaw to Manitoulin: A Highland Soldiers Tour Through Upper Canada. Toronto: Natural Heritage Books, January 2000.

(Editor) Scottish Tradition. The Journal of the Canadian Association for Scottish Studies. 1991-1998 (Eight volumes).

Select Articles and Other Publications
“Cleansing the Hawker’s Basket: Popular Literature and the Cheap Periodical Press in Scotland,” Studies in Scottish Literature. University of South Carolina, 2002.

With R. Andrew McDonald. “Somerled of Argyll: A New Look at an Old Problem,” Scottish Historical Review. Vol.LXXI. No. 191/2. April, October, 1992.

“As They Lived It: Peasant Life as Portrayed in the Bethune’s, Tales of the Scottish Peasantry,” Studies in Scottish Literature. Volume XXV. University of South Carolina, 1991.

With R. Andrew McDonald, “In Search of Somerled, King of Argyll and the Isles,” Scottish Tradition. Volume XVI. University of Guelph, 1990/91.

Other Publications
“An Officer and a Gentleman?: Professionalisation and the 93rd Highlanders in Canada, 1838-1848,” Scottish Tradition. University of Guelph. Fall 2001.

“The Battle of the Windmill Revisited,” Canadian Military History. Volume 9, Number 4, (Autumn 2000)

“Cnut,” Reader’s Guide to British History. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2003.

“Columba,” Reader’s Guide to British History. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2003.

“The Battle of Stamford Bridge,” Reader’s Guide to British History. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 2003

“Scottish Module,” in True North Arrivals, II. A C.D. Rom on emigration to Canada. McGraw-Hill Ryerson. September, 1996.

“A Word From Scotland’s ‘Ignorant and Unwashed Many’, The Tales of Alexander and John Bethune,” The Scottish Book Collector. Vol. 3 No.11 June-July 1993.

“The Historical Significance of Charles Gordon’s, Record of the Services of the 93rd (or Sutherland) Highland Regiment of Foot.” Collection Update. No.13. University of Guelph. 1990.

“Women, War and Society: The Celtic and Norse Goddesses of War,” Newsletter of the Canadian Celtic Arts Association. Vol.3, No.1. February 3, 1990.

Courses Taught

Hist 125 The Emergence of Modern Europe
Hist 363 The British Isles in the 20th Century
Hist 289 England Since 1851
Hist 291 Ireland from 1848 to the Present
IDIS 305 British Studies
Hist 352 The British Isles: 19th and 20th C.
INTS 312 World War Two and British Cultural Life
Hist 361 War and Peace in 20th Century Culture
Hist 360 War and Peace in 20th Century Culture

INTS 302 Seminar in Modern European Studies:
Print and Print Culture in Modern Europe.
Hist 241: Kings, Castles and the Concept of Chivalry
Hist 332: Medieval Britain (History/Archaeology)
CLST 206: Roman Britain (History/Archaeology)
Hist 242: The Norman World
INTS 301: The Persistence of the Medieval
INTS 303 The Global Village – Case Studies of South
-East England: Herstmonceux Castle
INTS 300 Kings, Castles, and the Concept of Chivalry in Western Culture (co-taught)
Hist 287: Early Modern England
Hist 290 Ireland From the Early Christian
era to 1848
Hist 251 Feudal Society in England
INTS 303 The Global Village – Case Studies
of South-East England: “Canada and Sussex”

History and Travel

Over the course of his career Scott has been fortunate enough to have been able to do a significant amount of travelling, most of which was in some way related to exploring history. The countries visited, with favourite places,  include:
England  -Town of  Caerleon, City of York, Hadrians Wall
Ireland – The West Country, County Clare
Scotland – City of Edinburgh, the Orkneys. Such a rich history!
Wales – North Wales – So many Castles!
Spain – Island of Majorca
Gibraltar – Standing on top of the Rock and seeing the coast of Africa
Malta – City of Valetta, the prehistoric temples
Belgium – Brussels, Ypres and the battlefields of WWI
France – You would think Paris, but no, Dieppe and Normandy.
Germany – Munich is great. Ok, I mostly remember sausages and beer, but still so much history
The U.S. – favourite city is Boston, but have to admit I was thoroughly impressed with Washington D.C. So many wonderful Museums and Memorials.
Greece – Athens. Seeing the Parthenon and sites linked to figures like Plato and Socrates was amazing.

Bulgaria- Archeological museum in Sofia.

Hungary- Cruising down the Danube

Italy- Baths of Caracalla

Croatia- Diocletian’s Palace

The Yucatan, Mexico – Loved Mexico despite the Montezuma’s revenge. Nothing quite like the view from the top of El Castille (the great pyramid) at Chichen Itza.
Of course I can’t leave out Canada – East Coast, especially Halifax and the Bay of Fundy.

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