Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone: An Assessment of Aerial Photographs and Lidar

Author(s): Fiona Small, Martyn Barber

The Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone is a partnership project undertaken to raise awareness of the historic environment in order to inform the delivery of heritage-led regeneration. The aerial investigation and mapping project, summarised in this report, complements other research by Historic England on the historic fabric of the town itself, on the connections between the modern town and the more distant, prehistoric, past of the area, and an assessment by Land Use Consultants of the town’s historic character. Aerial photographs available to the project cover almost a century, documenting changes to Ramsgate and its environs from the 1920s to the present. They also capture traces of much earlier periods, the oldest belonging to the 4th millennium BC. Records of over 330 new sites were created for the 20 sq km project area, including a newly-recognised Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure (the third to be identified in the area); numerous prehistoric burial monuments including a previously unrecognised oval barrow, also potentially Early Neolithic in date; and extensive traces of settlements and associated field boundaries from the later Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman periods. Highlights from the medieval period include traces of Upper Court and Nether Court Manors, plus some probable fish weirs in Pegwell Bay. RAF aerial photographs taken during and after the Second World War offer a detailed view of the impact of that conflict on the town. They captured various installations and defensive features, as well as the extent of bomb damage and the subsequent appearance of replacement housing in the form of pre-fabricated buildings. The report also highlights aspects of the relationship between the modern town and the more distant past, particularly in the Nethercourt area where features of Iron Age and Roman date (and potentially earlier) revealed as cropmarks now largely lie beneath the houses and gardens of post-war housing estates.

Report Number:
Research Report
Bronze Age Medieval Modern Neolithic Post Medieval Aerial Photograph Interpretation Aerial Photography National Mapping Programme


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