Oxfordshire Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC)

Abi Tompkins, Charlotte Malone, 2017 (updated 2018)

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Abi Tompkins, Charlotte Malone (2018) Oxfordshire Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1043765


Oxfordshire Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC)

The Oxfordshire HLC project commenced in October 2012, funded by Historic England and hosted by Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). Due to a change in key personnel, the project was not brought to a close until January 2018. The Oxfordshire HLC represents the final project completed (outside of London) within Historic England’s national programme of supporting counties and other local planning authorities prepare HLCs.

The aims of the Oxfordshire HLC were:

  • To characterise, digitally map and make available in a web-based format, the historic dimension of the current landscape of Oxfordshire, in order to inform its management, conservation, and understanding at a local, county, regional, and national level.
  • Using historic maps, aerial photographs, LiDAR, archaeological data, and historic sources, the Oxfordshire HLC project has created a mapped resource and linked database containing over 16,000 records. These were created using Exegesis' HBSMR software (database) and MapInfo (mapped resource).
  • The Oxfordshire project project incorporates the results of the two current Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) HLC projects that fall within Oxfordshire – North Wessex Downs and the Chilterns – and the HLC for Oxford City, and revisits and updates the area originally covered by the Cotswold AONB HLC project.

The HLC will be a valuable resource for increasing our understanding and appreciation of the historic landscape across the community and in all aspects of planning and land management. The project will strengthen the evidence bases available to planning staff in the County and District Authorities, and will influence Local Development Frameworks. The project will enable the eventual integration of historic and natural environment datasets to create a more holistic landscape character assessment for the county.