The Warwickshire ALSF NMP (4681) project surveyed a number of sample areas identified as under potential threat from aggregate extraction. The project was funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). Both historical and recent aerial photographs were used to record a wide range of archaeological sites. Many had already been levelled through ploughing and were only visible as cropmarks, and some sites have been destroyed since the date of photography.
Archaeology under threat
Aerial photographs have revealed several areas where the cropmarks of landscapes of fields and settlements could be traced for several kilometres. The prehistoric settlement complex exposed by quarrying at Church Lawford lies at the heart of such an area, much of which has been, or is under threat from destruction. The mapping shows the land was divided up by regular linear boundaries of ditches or pit alignments, one boundary extending over 2km. The southern part of this complex is visible amongst the remains of a WWII airfield runway and buildings. The runway has long-since been removed and partially quarried away.
17th century Designed Landscapes
NMP mapping around the site of the former Middleton Hall revealed cropmarks of formal parkland features. These included a circular ditched enclosure with six radiating arms thought to be avenues or carriageways, probably dating from the middle of the 17th century. More elaborate patte d'oie or goose-foot schemes can be seen in Knyff and Kips illustrations of grand houses in Britannia Illustrata. Close by to the north-east the cropmarks of earlier, possibly prehistoric enclosures or ditches, were recorded.
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.