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Rural Heritage

Research into rural heritage will have impact if it captures the significance of that heritage, ensures that informed statutory protection is in place, where warranted, reflected in the National Heritage List for England. It will help owners, local authorities and other agencies consider land-use change that maintains rural character. Work on sharing approaches to significance with the natural environment sector will help integrate land-use management.

 Research questions that will help our mission include:

  • How can we better understand the scale and pace of change affecting the significance of historic farm buildings, functionally redundant vernacular buildings and small estates?
  • How can we better understand the capacity for rural landscapes and buildings to change while retaining their heritage significance?
  • How can we use historic local character and distinctiveness of rural areas to inspire and guide future land use, housing development and design?
  • How can we better integrate approaches to heritage and ecological assessments of significance?
  • How can we use and communicate enhanced understanding of our rural historic environment to encourage communities to engage more actively with the character of their rural places and landscapes?

From the links below you can see some examples of our current and recent rural heritage projects. 

  • L-shaped stone farmstead in rural setting in Priddy, Somerset

    Rural Buildings Research

    Read about our recent research which assesses the character and significance of rural buildings across England’s countryside.

  • Ruined concrete First World War explosives factory reflected in the marshes of the Hoo Peninsula

    Hoo Peninsula

    The Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project assessed the archaeology and buildings of the area’s industrial, military and agricultural past.

  • line of barrows at Priddy silhouetted against the sky

    Mendip Hills

    Find out more about the historic landscape of the Mendip Hills project, which is studying the area’s archaeology, buildings and history.