Written Scheme of Investigation
More often than not, before the archaeological process can begin a Written Scheme of Investigation needs to be produced. This a short document which establishes with the planning officer how the archaeologist will meet the discharge conditions, setting out the approach and establishing methodology details. Once this has been agreed with the planning officer the archaeological work can commence.
This is often the first stage in the archaeological programme of works, and is used to establish what the archaeological potential of the site is, and what further works may be required. In order to establish this we consult with the Historic Environment Record for the county, as well as looking at historic mapping and any other relevant information readily available in the local history libraries. A site walkover visit is also usually undertaken to assess the current condition of the site. The subsequent report will then show areas of archaeological potential and suggest mitigation strategies for dealing with it.
Historic Building Surveys
Whatever the building, be it a barn, mill or large industrial complex we've got you covered. Historic building surveys (or historic building recording) can often be required on buildings considered to be an historic asset, which includes buildings which are not listed but of some historic interest. These usually involve the recording of the building(s) through a drawn, written and photographic record. The level of the recording (1 - 4) varies depending on the building, with 4 being the most detailed. If you would like to know more about the recording levels here is a handy link to the English Heritage recording guidelines pdf.
A watching brief is usually requied when there is a low potential for any high value archaeology to arise, but there is a risk that some archaeological heritage assets may be destroyed. This is usually arises as a planning condition for construction works. It can also form a part of a historic building survey, where areas of the building which were previously obscured are being opened up. In essence it involves an archaeologist being present to watch the works, so that a record can be made of any archaeological remains which may turn up.
Any planning application which is deemed to affect a heritage asset (or its setting) requires the submission of a heritage assessment. This established the different heritage assests in the area, their respective values and how the proposed developments will impact on them. The process is similar to that for the desk-based assessment, where we will contact the Historic Environment Record as well as examining historic mapping and readily available information from local studies libraries.
This is a brief overview of the services we cover, but we would encourage you to contact us if there is something you feel we may be able to help with that is not listed here. Likewise, if you're unsure about something or just want some advice please get in touch. If we can't help we'll happily point you in the right direction.