Archaeology South East

Our Range of Archaeological Services

Consultancy  Consultancy

Evaluation  Evaluation

Building Analysis and Recording  Building Analysis and Recording

Desk-Based Assessment  Desk-Based Assessment

Excavation and Watching Briefs  Excavation and Watching Briefs



We can advise on the archaeological implications of development proposals, consider ways of mitigating the impact of development on archaeological remains, and assist with satisfying the requirements of planning authorities in relation to archaeology and historic buildings. We are able to provide similar advice, integrating desk-based and field-based assessments, as a basis for preparing Conservation and Management Plans for historic buildings and sites. These are increasingly necessary if a grant application for a historic site or building is to be successful.


Desk-Based Assessment

A study of existing information about the archaeological background and development history of a site can be of considerable importance in establishing whether there is a requirement for archaeological fieldwork. In some cases the archaeological potential can be considered in the light of the proposed development - its extent, construction methods, etc. - to form a full assessment of the likely impact on archaeological remains within the site.

Such a study can help target fieldwork in the most cost-effective manner in cases where further investigations are required.



Government guidance (PPG 16) defines this as "...normally a rapid and inexpensive operation, involving ground survey and trial trenching ...", undertaken where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting the presence of archaeological remains on a site. The object is to establish whether such remains are present, and to define their character and extent. It may be required to clarify the results of a desk-based assessment.

A large or complex site may need more extensive evaluation in order to provide the information required to make an informed planning decision. Techniques such as geophysical survey, surface artefact collection and topographical survey, as well as trial trenching, are employed by Archaeology South-East as appropriate. Certain technical operations, such as geoarchaeological borehole investigations, are sub-contracted to appropriate specialists.


Excavation and Watching Briefs

Excavation of a Roman Villa at Beddingham, 
 East SussexPPG16 incorporates a presumption that nationally important archaeological remains should be preserved in situ, and that this option should be given due consideration in the case of remains of lesser importance. Where preservation is not the chosen solution, an archaeological excavation will be required, possibly in conjunction with an appropriate archaeological watching brief. In some circumstances a watching brief alone may suffice.

We have undertaken hundreds of projects ranging from watching briefs during pipe trench excavations and excavations of single house plots, to survey and excavation over many hectares of gravel quarry. The results of this work have been published in local, national and international journals and monographs.


Building Analysis and Recording

Section of a 16th-century mansion in Seal, KentSince the introduction of government guidance in PPG 15, planning authorities are increasingly requiring proper assessment of listed buildings and the implications of works to their fabric and, where appropriate, recording and analysis to mitigate the impact of approved works.

By seeking our advice at an early stage, expensive re-drafting of proposals can often be avoided. We can also undertake recording and survey that may be required once listed building and planning consents have been obtained.

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