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Quantock Hills NMP

Location map of Quantocks NMP - red area shows more detailThe archaeological survey of the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was a partnership between the AONB, Somerset County Council and English Heritage. The English Heritage survey comprised three elements: aerial reconnaissance, the National Mapping Programme project, and ground based survey. 

The results are published as an English Heritage monograph 'The Historic Landscape of the Quantock Hills' by Hazel Riley.

Looking north across the Quantocks (). © Crown copyright. NMR.

A typical example of the landscape on the uplands of the Quantocks within the AONB photographed on 17-FEB-1998. The prehistoric enclosure, the Trendle ring, is in the foreground and the uplands can be seen extending behind (NMR 15858/31). © Crown copyright. NMR.

Combining techniques

The NMP project area comprised the AONB and a wider contextual area. It divides into three distinct topographical zones: the uplands, which includes hilltop commons and woodland; the surrounding lower lying, settled and cultivated land; and the coastal zone. As a result, whereas the AONB is mostly made up of open moorland the wider area examined by the NMP project also covered a lot of enclosed farmland.

The combination of the detailed survey on the ground and the broad overview from the air worked well to produce a comprehensive picture not only of the features that remain on the ground today, but also those that have long since been demolished, ploughed away or passed over to another use.

Most of the World War II military remains in and around the Quantocks were removed immediately after the war.  For example the former POW camp at Halswell or the tank firing range and associated camp to the north east of Kilton.

Tank range by Kilton (RAF 106G/UK/738 3019). English Heritage (NMR) RAF Photography

World War II tank firing range and associated camp to the north east of Kilton photographed on 27-AUG-1945 (RAF 106G/UK/738 3019). English Heritage (NMR) RAF Photography.

Hidden landscapes

The archaeology mapped in the lowlands is predominantly visible as cropmarks, in particular on the lighter soils along the rivers to the south and south east of the AONB.  The map extract to the left shows a possible Iron Age banjo enclosure situated amid a series of late prehistoric and/or Roman enclosures (in green) along the banks of a river valley in Thurloxton parish.

Mapping of Iron Age banjo enclosure and other settlement enclosures ©English Heritage.NMR

An extract of NMP mapping showing a possible Iron Age banjo enclosure and other later prehistoric or Roman settlement enclosures. Air photo mapping ©English Heritage.NMR. Base map © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. English Heritage 100019088. 2009

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 by email via the link above.



Aerial Survey - Swindon
Heritage Protection Department