Changing Chalk: Downs from Above. Aerial Survey of the South Downs north of Brighton

Author(s): Edward Carpenter, David Knight, Fiona Small

Published no date

The Downs from Above project is the aerial survey component of the National Trust-led and National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported Changing Chalk partnership. The project focussed on the area of the South Downs National Park to the north of Brighton and Hove. The archaeological mapping and interpretations from the Downs from Above project are available via an online Geographical Information System (GIS) portal and provide a framework for volunteer activities coordinated by the National Trust. The archaeological remains identified from lidar and aerial photographs on the South Downs ranged in date from the Neolithic to the Cold War. The lidar was particularly valuable in showing the low earthworks that define extensive later prehistoric and Roman field systems across the Downs. Medieval and post medieval archaeological features mainly comprised enclosures and dewponds related to sheep farming as well as the chalk pits and quarries of the local lime industry. 1940s aerial photographs provided a useful overview of the 20th-century military activity on the Downs, as well as a unique snapshot of the open grassland before conversion to arable. The project results contribute a lasting legacy in terms of better understanding of the form and extent of this archaeological landscape. This will inform future management and should inspire further archaeological investigation of this special area.

Report Number:
Research Report
Bronze Age Iron Age Medieval Post Medieval Prehistoric Settlement Aerial Photograph Interpretation Field System First World War Aerial Photography Lidar Survey Round Barrow Military Training Site Second World War Radar Station Aerial Investigation and Mapping


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