Friday, 18 May 2018

Historic England's research report available online

Historic England is pleased to announce their research report on archaeological investigations at Cannock Chase is now available online.

From 2016 to 2018, Historic England was a partner in The Chase Through Time project. This explored the rich history of Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) from the air and on the ground. In particular, we were able to map the full extent of the First World War remains using new airborne laser scanning data. 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. The lidar and results of the project are available to view via an online map hosted and maintained by Historic England.

An important strand 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.

All across the Chase, 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 lidar. This allowed us to see beneath the trees, revealing an exciting 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. 565 archaeological sites were mapped, of which 436 were new to Staffordshire County Council’s Historic Environment Record where they will be used for management of the landscape.

Download the research report:

View the online map:

Historic England’s research report (left) and a screenshot from the Chase Through Time project ArcGIS Online portal (right).All images © Historic England

Historic England’s project staff would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who got involved with all elements of The Chase Through Time. In particular, to all of the project volunteers for their hard work and impressive local knowledge - deepest thanks to all of them for their able assistance and infectious enthusiasm!

We want your feedback! If you have a particular interest in any of the sites, techniques or themes presented in our research report, please leave a comment below.

Find out more about Historic England’s contributions to the wider project here: