Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: Cornwall South Coast

Peter Dudley, Charlie Johns, Michael Grant, 2019

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Peter Dudley, Charlie Johns, Michael Grant (2019) Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: Cornwall South Coast [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1053675

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Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment: Cornwall South Coast

The Cornwall South Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey is part of a national programme funded by Historic England. The project was undertaken by Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Cornwall Council, and COARS, Southampton University between 2017 and 2018. The project consisted of a desk-based assessment of the threat posed to heritage assets along the coast by rising sea levels and increasing coastal erosion.

The project area extended from Andurn Point in Devon to Land's End in Cornwall and included Plymouth and the Tamar Estuaries. It included an assessment of surviving remains along the open coast and its tidal estuaries, including the intertidal zone out to Lowest Astronomical Tide, with a 1km 'hinterland' to the landward side of Mean High Water and extending up estuaries to 1km beyond the tidal extent. The project area was sub-divided according to Policy Scenario Areas (PSAs) and the Policy Development Zones (PDZs) as set out in Shoreline Management Plans for Durlston Head to Rame Head and Rame Head to Hartland Point.

The Phase 1 Desk-based Assessment (DBA) assessed the data available on the character of the historic environment within the project area, and potential threats to heritage assets, in order to design a strategy for Phase 2 (Field Survey) which prioritises areas where heritage assets may be most at risk. The project updated and added new records to the Historic Environment Records for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon County Council and the City of Plymouth. Overall the project added, updated or amended 2,737 records; the new sites created totalled 2,294 for Cornwall, 82 for Devon and 227 for Plymouth.

Research priorities and themes identified by the desk-based assessment are presented in the context of the regional themes and research aims set out in the South West Archaeological Research Framework (SWARF). Specific sites and areas which would benefit from further research or work are also summarised in the final report.