England's Historic Seascapes: Liverpool Bay Pilot Area

Wessex Archaeology, 2006

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Wessex Archaeology (2006) England's Historic Seascapes: Liverpool Bay Pilot Area [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000010


England's Historic Seascapes is a programme of pilot projects developing a methodology for mapping the historic character of our coastal and marine environment. The programme's initial project, the Liverpoool Bay Pilot Area, was undertaken by Wessex Archaeology and funded by the Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund as distributed by English Heritage.


The project was responsible for developing a methodology for extending Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) to the intertidal and marine zones of England, out to the 12 nautical mile limit of territorial waters. The project initially focused on a Pilot Area comprising Liverpool Bay and the Ribble, with a small test area defined at the mouth of the Mersey.

The methodology employed involved the creation of a GIS-based Marine HLC with mapping grouped under broad headings reflecting modern use of the sea and coast, past use of the sea and coast, and environmental charactersitics such as natural habitats and palaeoenvironmental contexts. A model of coastal change was also compiled to help assess the potential for submerged landscapes. The patterns of human activity revealed by the characterisation process were analysised to find areas where polygons of similar charactersitics were in close proximity. These areas were then defined as 'Character Areas'.

Following on from this project four more project areas were commissioned:

More information on the English Heritage Historic Seascapes Project - including the 2008 National HSC Method statement - can be found at the ALSF Seascapes page

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