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North Devon National Mapping Programme project

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.

Black and white vertical aerial photograph showing numerous fields divided by hedges, but with the landscape also cut by some roads
Post-medieval fields at Broadbury photographed on 11-APR-1946 with an area of upland rough ground in the bottom left of the image. The rectilinear enclosure known as Broadbury Castle is visible as a cropmark to the mid-right of the photo (RAF 3G/TUD/UK/138/5167). © Historic England RAF Photography.

The project

The project was carried out by staff from Cornwall County Council between January and October 2005. Unlike most other NMP projects it covered a number of separate transects rather than a continuous area.

Assessing the archaeological resource

Due to a variety of factors the archaeological resource in much of the area was not fully understood. NMP mapping was seen as a rapid and effective means of redressing this and informing engagement with the inevitable process of change.

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 key findings from the project can be found in the report:

The images used on this page are copyright Historic England 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 Historic England Archive.

For further information on a project or any other aspect of the work of the Remote Sensing Team please contact us via email using the link below.

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Historic Places Investigation

Research Group

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