Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC)

Tom Sunley, 2017

Data copyright © Tom Sunley, Dave Hooley unless otherwise stated

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Primary contact

Tom Sunley
HER Data Manager
Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
Cocklebury Road
SN15 3QN

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Tom Sunley (2017) Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1042742

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Wiltshire and Swindon HLC Project Cover

The Wiltshire and Swindon Historic Landscape Characterisation Project was carried out as part of a national initiative by Historic England (formerly English Heritage) to identify and record the historic character and time depth present in the modern landscape across England. It was carried out from April 2012 to February 2017 and covered the whole county of Wiltshire (including the unitary authority areas of Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council).

The actual dataset was created by studying historic and modern maps, aerial photographs and archaeological data to build a complete record for Wiltshire and Swindon. This resulted in c.14,500 records detailing the historic character of the landscape, and each record includes a range of associated attributes and metadata. These records were created within ExegesisÂ’ HBSMR software (database) and utilised ArcGIS software (mapped components).

The HLC dataset provides evidence for cultural patterns and characteristics that make places distinctive and contribute to local identity today, which helps prevent that human dimension of our landscape being overlooked. It also connects the lives and choices of people in the past with those of today which enables more informed decisions to be made when considering the future of local places.

In practical terms, Historic Landscape Characterisation data could be useful for:

  • Consulting on and producing neighbourhood plans or design statements
  • Investigating the local parish, town or village
  • Planning at all levels or strategic decision making
  • Working on the conservation/management of places and/or landscape
  • Undertaking place and landscape-based research for school, college or university