Researching your site (2) - archaeological remains

All archaeological remains are 'heritage assets', and even the possibility of archaeological remains on your site may trigger the requirement for a Heritage Statement/Heritage Impact Statement/Desk-based Assessment to accompany your planning application.
 
Archaeological remains dating from periods as far apart as the Palaeolithic (500,000 years ago) to World War II can be present at some places in the UK. Common prehistoric finds are flint and stone tools, but pottery, animal bone and human bone can be discovered, as well as minute traces of seeds, pollen and plant material which give indications of the contemporary environment. Infrequently, organic materials including wood and leather may survive. The backfilled holes left by ditches, pits and posts from fences and buildings can be identified by archaeologists.
 
Roman and later remains are better known (they're often more robust) and the remains of buildings and roads are more common.  Very rarely, standing buildings have used re-used fragments of much older buildings which stood on the same site. Boundary walls and ditches can have re-used the same alignments for many centuries.
 
The survival of seventeenth century and later buildings and walls is more widespread and their distinctive architectural appearance contributes to the character of towns and villages. Ditches, yard surfaces and pits which were used by the original inhabitants can lie buried on land beside the standing houses and barns, containing evidence of the objects they used and the diet they ate.
 
Findspots of archaeological remains reported to museums and other archaeologists have been systematically plotted and described. Details of the finds are now carried by Sites & Monuments Records/Historic Environment Records maintained by many local authorities and extracts from their lists are accessible online at www.heritagegateway.org.
 
My research of your site will include (unless otherwise agreed) a search of the Heritage Gateway website and/or the collection of detailed information from the local Historic Environment Record relating to your site and to an area around it (varying for each application, but usually 500m radius to 1km radius)*. I plot the findspots onto a map which includes your site. The results will give an idea as to whether the excavation of foundations, service trenches, landscaping or other groundworks are likely to disturb any predicted archaeological remains.
 
If you are intending digging into your site as part of your planning proposals, your local planning authority may require you to have an archaeological evaluation conducted by archaeologists before they decide your application. The evaluation may be a geophysical survey (which involves no ground disturbance) or sample trenching; both see whether the predicted archaeological remains are actually present. I can help you arrange this.  
 
 
 
*HERs are introducing charges for commercial searches and where these are levied you will be warned in advance.