E.4.1 Introduction to Farmstead Studies#Historic farmsteads and their buildings are a prominent contributor to regional distinctiveness and landscape, but there is far less information available at a landscape scale about farmsteads and their buildings than other aspects of the cultural landscape, such as settlement patterns, field systems and boundary features.
This is of critical importance, as structural changes in the farming industry have hastened their wholesale redundancy and the decoupling of entire farmsteads from agricultural production. There is a strong demand for their conversion into other uses, overwhelmingly housing.
English Heritage carried out Regional Farmstead Character Statements. See http://www.historicengland.org.uk/research/current-research/discovery/landscapes-and-areas/characterisation/farmsteads/ and county gazetteers from this project were made available to HERs. Various HERs have also carried out Historic Farmstead Characterisation. It is anticipated that there will be some case studies relating to these in this section.