Cannock Chase, Staffordshire: The Chase Through Time: Historic England Contribution

Author(s): F Small, E Carpentar, Rebecca Pullen, David Knight

Between 2016 and 2018, The Chase Through Time project explored the rich history of Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). All across the Chase, previous generations left their mark on the land. Much is hidden in woodland and heath, including one of the best-preserved First World War landscapes in England. As part of the Great War centenary initiative: Home Front Legacy, Historic England undertook an archaeological survey in partnership with Staffordshire County Council, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The HLF support included funding for high-resolution airborne laser scanning (lidar). This allowed us to see beneath the trees, revealing a range of archaeological features dating from prehistory onwards. Other sources included historic aerial photographs, which recorded archaeological remains and the changing landscape over the last 70 years. As well as the First World War, other major archaeological themes from the project included extensive medieval and later coal mining, post medieval land division associated with the early management of the Chase, and the localised concentration of prehistoric burnt mounds. An important strand to this project was the involvement of volunteers. Historic England shared skills, provided training and promoted the use of non-invasive analytical survey techniques with people interested in exploring the history of the Chase. Archaeological records were input directly into Staffordshire County Council’s Historic Environment Record (HER) ensuring they could be used immediately. Overall, 565 archaeological sites were mapped, of which 436 were new to the record. The lidar and results of the project are freely available via an online map hosted and maintained by Historic England. The project results will aid management of Cannock Chase, help to develop future projects and will contribute to a lasting legacy of archaeological investigation of this area by heritage professionals and volunteers.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Bronze Age Geophysical Survey Post Medieval Aerial Photograph Interpretation Analytical Landscape Survey Lidar Survey Firing Range Second World War Airborne Laser Scanning Woodland Wood Bank


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