Thank you, Historic England!

Thank you, Historic England!

Last week I completed my CIfA placement with the Geospatial Imaging team at Historic England. It’s been a fantastic year and I thought I’d summarise it with a few statistics  that highlight just how much has been covered in the last 12 months (numbers may be estimates as I might have forgotten some things!):

  • over 35 historic or archaeological sites worked at and visited
  • across 17 counties (6 of which I’d never previously been)
  • 16 English Heritage properties
  • 8 castles
  • 4 World Heritage Sites
  • 3 countries of the United Kingdom covered (England, Scotland, Wales). I’ve also travelled to the Republic of Ireland (all expenses paid!), Italy and Hong Kong (not for work)
  • 404 miles = longest single journey for fieldwork (York to Penzance)
  • 3 Research Reports (in prep)
  • 12 conferences attended
  • over 240 cups of tea drank (I got through 3 boxes of 80 tea bags in the office alone, not counting fieldwork…)
  • 1 site accessed via boat (Hurst Castle)
  • uncountable gigabytes of data recorded and processed…
  • 1 Head of State met (Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland awarded the Undergraduate Award Gold Medal for Archaeology to me in November last year!)

The top image shows me (far left) and other CIfA Specialist Placement holders with our supervisors and colleagues, at Fort Cumberland last year. (Apologies I can’t remember who took the photo so please let me know and I can credit you).

I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me over the year, especially the Historic England Geospatial Imaging team in York.

Next year I’m starting my AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Bradford and Historic Environment Scotland, looking at Visualising the Crucible of Shetland’s Broch Building. I can’t wait to get started!


Surveying the early medieval structure of the Parish Church of St. Mary, Holy Island

Surveying the early medieval structure of the Parish Church of St. Mary, Holy Island

Last week I travelled to Holy Island to record an early medieval wall within the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin (cover image). Situated next to Lindisfarne Priory, the  current church is stated to be largely 12th century in date, however Medieval Archaeologist Peter Ryder believes the fabric of the present walls could feature earlier building material. The present church stands on the site of a church built by St Aidan in the 7th century, followed by a small stone church (. By laser scanning the church interior with the help of Peter and Minnie Fraser, of Northumbria University, I will generate orthophotos that will help Peter to analyse the stonework of the church in great detail, so he can investigate this further.

Peter and Minnie with the FARO laser scanner, outside the church.

Many thanks to Peter and Minnie for organising the visit and helping with the survey, and for a very informative stroll around the island, discussing the history of some of its buildings and structures before the tides came back in!


Sunny skies on Lindisfarne.
Cairns built by visitors to the island, at its southern tip, looking out to sea.