Hoo Peninsula

The Hoo Peninsula, located on the north Kent coast 30 miles east of central London, extends into the Thames Estuary between Gravesend and Rochester. The peninsula lies in the local authority areas of Medway and Gravesham and is bounded by the River Thames to the north and west and the River Medway to the east. The peninsula has just over 31,000 inhabitants with settlements varying in size from over 7000 residents to just a few hundred.

Between 2009 and 2012 English Heritage undertook the Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscapes Project. The long-term aim of the project was to increase knowledge and understanding of the historic environment of the Hoo Peninsula and capture how the history and archaeology of the peninsula has contributed to the character of its modern landscape, including its estuarine and marine environments.

Aerial view of the Hoo Peninsula project area

The Hoo Peninsula, looking west from Grain. ©English Heritage. NMR26477/050 

It is hoped that the knowledge and understanding gained during the project will provide an improved basis for management and decision-making.  In particular it is hoped that the project results will enable the historic environment to fully inform the strategic decisions that will shape future change on the Hoo Peninsula, resulting from anticipated housing, economic and infrastructure developments as well as environmental change in the coming decades.

The project involved a range of different experts and a variety of approaches including: a palaeoenvironmental review; assessments of the peninsula’s buildings and villages (known as Outline Historic Area Assessments); analysis, interpretation and mapping of the peninsula’s archaeological sites and landscapes that can be seen on aerial photographs; ground-based survey and analysis of key sites such as Cooling Radio Station and Cliffe Fort; and Historic Seascape, Farmstead and Landscape Characterisations, which aimed to capture how the character of the modern landscape, farmsteads and marine / estuarine environments reflect the area’s historic development.

The main phase of the project is now complete and a report which brings together all the work undertaken as part of the project is now available to download. The report explains how to access other specialist reports related to the project and a shorter publication is also planned. It is hoped that the report will stimulate further research into and enthusiasm for the history and archaeology of the Hoo Peninsula, as well as inform debates about the peninsula’s changing landscape.

For more details on the project please email sarah.newsome@english-heritage.org.uk

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Sarah Newsome
Senior Investigator
Heritage Protection Department
t: 01223 582771