The National Trust
Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd has been commissioned by The National Trust to undertake a Historic Landscape Survey and an Archaeological Condition Assessment of two defined areas within the Lake District World Heritage Site. The first comprises land near Derwentwater within the North Lakes, while the second area is made up of land in Little Langdale, Tilberthwaite and Yewdale within the South Lakes.
The purpose of this work is two-fold: firstly, to contribute to a greater understanding of the historical development of the study areas and, secondly, to evaluate the nature, form, extent, date and condition of the surviving archaeological resource.
Over a five-week period, the survey team will be covering around 63km2 of National Trust landholdings. These comprise valley bottom pasture, meadow, woodland intake and upland pasture and include notable summits, such as Black Sails, Swirl How, Cat Bells and Maiden Moor. The Derwentwater team will also visit some of the islands within the lake.
The areas include 12 designated scheduled monuments, 42 listed buildings and around 900 known archaeological sites, spanning prehistoric rock art and stone circles through to 19th-century charcoal burning platforms and historic mines. Both areas have long established agricultural and mining heritage, which has helped to shape the iconic landscape the Lake District is well known for.
As well as assessing the condition of the known sites and enhancing their SMR records, the team are also recording sites identified from studying early OS maps, aerial photographs and LiDAR data for the survey areas. This has added an additional 600 sites to the survey. It is also expected that there will be more new sites encountered during the survey process itself and these will also be recorded.
The team are currently mid-survey and, like the varied landscape they are surveying, they have encountered their fair share of wind and rain. We’re hoping that there’s some sunshine heading their way soon.