The Lincolnshire National Mapping Programme (NMP) project, completed between 1992 and 1997, mapped and recorded archaeology from aerial photographs for the county of Lincolnshire, excluding the Fens and North Lincolnshire. Sites ranging from Neolithic long barrows through to 20th century military remains were identified.
Selected topics of research were published in a series of thematic articles in 'Lincolnshire's Archaeology from the Air', R Bewley (ed) 1998.
Diverse landscape zones and archaeology
The diversity of Lincolnshire’s landscape is influenced by its solid geology and complex glacial and post-glacial history. The Isle of Axeholme, Trent Valley, Lincoln Edge, Clay Vale, Wolds, Lincolnshire Marsh and Kesteven Uplands all have their distinct landscape character. This in part has been influenced by past human activity and is reflected in the varied archaeology recorded by the NMP project.
Despite the intensive agricultural regimes in Lincolnshire, which gives rise to extensively ploughed cropmark landscapes, some archaeological sites still survive as earthworks.
Neolithic long barrows
One of earliest diagnostic monument forms identified on aerial photographs is the Neolithic long barrow. Dilwyn Jones’ 1998 study analysed the morphology and context of these monuments in Lincolnshire, highlighting their regional and national significance. The majority occur on the Lincolnshire Wolds with some outliers on the Jurassic Limestone ridge.
English Heritage’s reconnaissance programme continues to monitor and photograph sites in Lincolnshire and has found several new long barrows adding to the 67 originally recorded in Jones’ gazetteer.
The landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds is largely arable and the cropmark evidence reveals a long history of settlement and human activity (Jones 1998). The area is crossed by drove roads and trackways, relics from perhaps prehistoric and medieval times, particularly in the case of the latter, when sheep rearing predominated. Linked with these routeways are medieval settlements some of which survive well as earthworks.
The images used on this page are copyright English Heritage unless specified otherwise. For further details of any photographs or other images and for copies of these, or the plans and reports related to the project please contact the English Heritage Archive.
For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Aerial Survey team please contact us via email using the link above.