The 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.
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.
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.
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.