Vale of York National Mapping Programme project
The Vale of York NMP project covered 1,675 square kilometres of low-lying land between the Magnesian Limestone and the Yorkshire Wolds. Its northern limit was the Howardian Hills and it went as far south as the rivers Aire and Humber. The survey was undertaken because intensive aerial reconnaissance over many years had shown the area to be rich in archaeology. This archaeology was also under threat both from deep ploughing and piecemeal development around villages. The project provided data that greatly enhanced the national and local records. It has since been used to inform planning decisions and further research.
Iron Age and Roman field systems
The landscape within the Vale has actively been used and farmed throughout prehistory to the present day. Extensive ditched field systems and settlements, dating to the late Iron Age and Roman periods, were revealed as cropmarks. These were recorded along with some rare earthwork survivals of enclosures on Allerthorpe and Skipwith Commons, the latter of which can be seen in the image below. It is the fact that the site mirrors cropmark enclosures nearby that suggests it may be a rare survival from the Iron Age or Roman periods.
Roman military sites and road network
The results of the project mapping and analysis enabled a review of the evidence for Roman military forts and camps and the infrastructure of roads and roadside settlements that converge on the important Roman town of York. Evidence for the position of the road on both sides of the River Derwent helps to locate the probable Roman bridging point.
Post-medieval rabbit farming
An unusual and relatively rare cruciform earthwork structure was discovered on low-lying ground at Wheldrake Ings. Its function is uncertain, but the favoured interpretation is a pillow mound, associated with rabbit farming in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
Key findings from the project can be found in the Vale of York National Mapping Programme 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.
Historic Places Investigation
Also of interest...
We identify archaeological sites and landscapes using aerial photography, lidar, geophysics, earthwork analysis and excavation.
Historic England experts use airborne remote sensing methods to identify, record and monitor the condition of heritage assets
The Howardian Hills project recorded features from the prehistoric period to the Second World War.
The aerial survey of Lower Wharfedale was an NMP mapping project covering an area of 1,100 square kilometres, mostly lying within West Yorkshire.
Results from the Magnesian Limestone in South and West Yorkshire NMP project which mapped extensive Iron Age and Roman settlement and land division.
The Yorkshire Henges and their Environs Air Photo Mapping project mapped the broader landscape around nine Neolithic henge monuments in Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire Wolds project mapped the cropmark evidence for prehistoric and Roman settlement visible on air photographs.