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The Cheshire National Mapping Programme Aerial Imagery Mapping Project

The Cheshire National Mapping Programme (NMP) archaeological survey project is currently under way, examining and recording 205 square kilometres of the county to NMP standards. The project will examine aerial photography and lidar imagery for four separate mapping areas covering a variety of landscapes. All archaeological features will be mapped and recorded.

Black and white aerial photo showing a landscape view looking north to the stately home and surrounding estate of Lyme Park
Aerial view of Lyme Park estate and the surrounding upland landscape of the Peak fringe, looking north taken on 27-AUG-1998 (NMR 17175/34) © Crown copyright. HE

Current knowledge

Cheshire is a county with a rich archaeological resource. However, it faces a variety of different impacts, including mineral and stone extraction and dairy farming. The county was subject to regular archaeological aerial reconnaissance in the 1980s and 1990s. However, only a small amount of digital mapping to NMP standards from aerial sources has taken place. This is limited to the North West Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment project on the north-western edge of Cheshire and the fringes of the Staffordshire Phase Two NMP project to the south-east.

The project will provide digital mapping and associated records for archaeological features visible on aerial photographs and lidar. This will test the scope of the Cheshire Historic Environment Record and hopefully improve the quality of the records held. The project will also look at the broader level of threat to archaeology from various impacting industries. The project will be completed by early 2017.

The project

The four landscapes include the upland Peak District fringe in the east of Cheshire and the lowland area around Chelford. Parts of the Mersey Valley close to Warrington and the Dee Valley on the county’s western border are also covered.

The project is being undertaken by Archaeological Research Services Ltd in conjunction with Cheshire Archaeology Planning Advisory Service and Historic England funded by Heritage Protection Commissions (6923).

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Group of people standing on a stony mound
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