Historic England Remote Sensing meeting, Masham

Historic England Remote Sensing meeting, Masham

From Mon 22nd – Weds 24th Feb, Historic England’s Remote Sensing team congregated on the brewing market town of Masham for its annual team meeting. Two field trips were organised, firstly to Breary Banks, a landscape full of history, originally being the site of a navvy camp (the earthworks are still visible in the top image). It became the training camp of the Leeds pals in WWI, and practice trenches are still visible. During the later stages of the war, it became a POW camp for German officers, then finally reverted back to a navvy camp to complete the construction of local reservoirs. Part of the site is currently being excavated (University of York 2016).


This was followed by the Druid’s Temple folly – a fantastical representation of a prehistoric stone circle, commissioned by the owner of Swinton Hall in the early 19th century when a fascination with Druidism was all the rage.


I took the sunny (albeit very cold) weather to my advantage to experimentally capture 4k video footage of the second site using a Sony Alpha 7R II, combined with a Manfrotto fig-rig handheld stabiliser, or “steering wheel” as several members of the team remarked!

University of York. 2016. Breary Banks Field Project. Available: https://www.york.ac.uk/archaeology/research/current-projects/breary-banks/. Last accessed 26th Feb 2016


St. Aloysius’ Chapel laser scanning, Ushaw College, Durham

St. Aloysius’ Chapel laser scanning, Ushaw College, Durham

A catch-up post now, for some work the HE Geospatial Imaging team did earlier this month. We were in Durham to help record a Heritage at Risk site: St Aloysius’ Chapel. The interior and exterior were laser scanned using a Leica ScanStation P40 (see featured image above for the laser range image taken from the scanner).

me using P40 at St Aloysius' Chapel
me and the Leica laser scanner

All the data will be used as an aid in advancing conservation of this impressive site: a former Roman Catholic junior seminary chapel dating from 1857-9, designed by Edward W. Pugin in the Gothic Revival style. Several scans were needed to capture all angles of this building’s complex and intricate interior.


There are discussions to define a suitable strategy for the future of the site, and I hope that it will one day be fully restored – it has some wonderful stained glass windows and intricately carved stone details all across it’s interior and exterior window arches.

(site information from the Heritage at Risk register entry for the chapel. Farrington, D. 2015)