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Desk-based assessments

Desk-based assessments are designed to provide baseline data on the potential archaeological and heritage assets that may be affected by a proposed development.

Archaeological Services produce these assessments to fulfil the requirements of the planning authorities and establish the nature and extent of any further pre-determination works that may be necessary.

They may also be needed to underpin scoping documents and environmental assessments.

During a desk-based assessment historic records are researched to establish what information exists about a development site's past.

an old map of Durham City from 1595

Schweitzer's map of Durham City from 1595

An aerial photograph of a prehistoric hillfort in its landscape, taken using our UAV

a tithe map showing old land divisions in the Elvet area of Durham

An old tithe map of the Durham City region, showing land divisions and ownership for taxation purposes, from 1838

a photograph of typical northern English pastoral farmland with an old farm yard in the middle-distance and the Pennine Hills beyond

Typical northern English upland farming; understanding a site's relationship with the landscape can be crucial to its archaeological and historical context

Case study: Meadowcroft, Elwick Road, Hartlepool, archaeological investigations

Meadowcroft was originally built in 1895, on Elwick Road, Hartlepool. As part of the planning process a desk-based assessment and watching brief was conducted prior to development. Historical records provided a background history for the Grade II listed house and surrounding area. This was used as a baseline for the watching brief carried out during the groundworks for new houses on the site. The brick foundations of the glasshouse shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map of 1896 were found.

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Contact Archaeological Services

Archaeological Services

Durham University
Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens

near Durham



Tel: +44 (0)191 334 1121