This project examined four transects, each comprising 100 square kilometres, selected to provide a coherent sample of the various landscapes, soils and geologies. The areas were also chosen to cover a diverse range of current and historical land use, and Historic Landscape Character.
The principal aim was to provide a fuller awareness of the range and extent of archaeological remains in central and north Devon through archaeological aerial survey.
Assessing the archaeological resource
Due to a combination of factors the archaeological resource in much of the area is not fully understood. For these reasons there is a pressing need to improve our understanding of the nature of the archaeology here in order to facilitate more effective engagement with the inevitable process of change.
NMP mapping was seen as a rapid and effective means of redressing the limited nature of current archaeological knowledge of an area where there is great pressure for diversification.
The results showed the archaeological resource of the area is rich and diverse. Features characterising the medieval and post medieval agricultural economy are especially abundant but a range of sites from the Neolithic period to the 20th century were recorded. Of particular significance are 149 newly recognised prehistoric or Romano-British enclosures and 18 Bronze Age barrows recorded by the NMP survey.
These sites are important both in their own right and as indicators of more extensive prehistoric activity, as there will be many other types of site, such as unenclosed settlements, which are not easily identified from the air.
The results of the project are available in the project report.
For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Aerial Survey team please contact us at: AerialSurvey@english-heritage.org.uk
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.