Extensive Urban Survey - The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6

Hal Dalwood, Victoria Bryant, 2005

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Worcestershire County Council
University of Worcester
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Hal Dalwood, Victoria Bryant (2005) Extensive Urban Survey - The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000325

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Town Assessment Reports

Town assessment reports have been produced for each town. Each report provides an academic framework against which future archaeological research can be planned and informed management decisions can be made.

The survey methodology, underlying concepts and specialist terminology are detailed in Central Marches Historic Towns Survey Methodology, H Dalwood and V Buteux 1996, (updated 2005). The methodology can be downloaded as a PDF document by clicking on the following link:

The information contained in the reports has been extensively checked and is as far as possible accurate and complete to the date of the completion of the project (1996). The interpretations should be treated as point in time statements. Reference should be made to the relevant Historic Environment Records for up to date information. The archaeological, historical and cartographic evidence presented in each report is also capable of more than one interpretation.


Assessment reports are illustrated by maps at a scale of 1:5000. Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Listed Buildings locations are based on the best available information. Mapping of remains (i.e. archaeological sites) historic and demolished buildings (i.e. non-listed buildings), urban components and urban forms, are based on the best available information.

Each map shows a defined Urban Archaeological Area. This is not a statutory designation, but all the area within its boundary is registered on the County Sites and Monuments Records.

Impact of the survey on development control

A preliminary review of the impact of the CMHTS project was undertaken in 1998 (Dalwood and Atkin 1998). One of the principal aims of the survey had been to provide information that could be drawn on in consultations relating to planning applications within historic towns. Such consultations have been strengthened in the last decade through government planning guidance and local authority planning policies which give a greater emphasis to the preservation of archaeological deposits. The information provided by the CMHTS project allowed the full force of planning policies for archaeology to be brought to bear on new development in historic towns. The percentage of planning applications where an archaeological response was required quadrupled between 1993 and 1996 (Dalwood and Atkin 1998, 8).

From the mid-1990s there was a marked expansion in the number of archaeological projects in the smaller historic towns in Worcestershire. Much of the archaeological fieldwork work has been small-scale evaluations, targeted at establishing the existence and extent of archaeological deposits on a particular development site. Often, when important archaeological deposits are discovered, the development design is adapted so that below-ground archaeological deposits are sealed beneath the new development, in order to achieve the goal of preservation in situ, and consequently there have been few large-scale excavation projects within towns.

Related publications

  • Dalwood, H. and Atkin, M. (1998) The impact of extensive urban survey in Hereford and Worcester, Hereford and Worcester County Archaeological Service Internal Report 608.
    online at: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/archaeology/library

  • Dalwood, H. (2000) The archaeology of small Towns in Worcestershire, Trans. Worcestershire Archaeol. soc., 3rd ser. vol.17, 2000, pp215 - 221.