Consultancy Work

Scope and Content

This subfonds constitutes the bulk of the Peter Rowe Archive, and comprises files relating to the many projects in Britain and overseas with which Rowe was involved as a consultant or an expert witness. There are approximately five hundred projects and cases, of which the majority (over three hundred) are represented in the series PWR/4/2, British Construction Projects. This series is further broken down by project type (see below). The series PWR/4/3, International Construction Projects, and PWR/4/4, Offshore Structures, reflect Rowe's international reputation in the fields of soil mechanics and civil engineering.

Whereas Rowe was employed on an ad-hoc basis to advise on particular construction projects or litigation cases, he was retained by the Manchester Ship Canal Company for over thirty years to advise on a wide range of issues relating to canal banks, docks, locks and sludge deposit grounds. These papers therefore form as separate series, PWR/4/1.

Rowe was also invited to submit evidence as an expert witness in many arbitration and legal cases. These files form a separate series, PWR/4/5, although there is some overlap of subject matter with the files in PWR/4/2.

The documentation on individual projects and cases varies in quantity from a single slim file to the 180 folders spanning four decades that relate to Carsington Reservoir in Derbyshire (PWR/4/2/1/24). Carsington's dam failed as it neared completion, necessitating rebuilding. This, and the associated legal dispute, generated a vast quantity of documentation. The majority of projects comprise between one and ten folders. These typically contain correspondence, maps and plans, site investigation material such as bore-hole logs, notes, sketches, calculations, laboratory test data, and photographs.


The projects have been arranged into five series according to the different types of work identified on Rowe's curricula vitae. The largest series, PWR/4/2, British Construction Projects, has been further divided into seven subseries. Within each series and subseries, projects are arranged alphabetically by project title, except PWR/4/2/2-6, which are ordered chronologically, according to the date of Rowe's first involvement with each particular project.

The subfonds PWR/4 contains the following series:

  • PWR/4/1 Manchester Ship Canal, 1958-1994
  • PWR/4/2 British Construction Projects,
  • PWR/4/3 International Construction Projects
  • PWR/4/4 Offshore Structures
  • PWR/4/5 Litigation