Research Projects

Cornwall Archaeological Unit has a proud tradition of delivering high-quality and innovative research projects as well as strategic studies, landscape surveys, conservation management plans and works of synthesis. For these projects our aims are guided by research frameworks and project specific questions.

These discretionary projects are typically commissioned by publicly funded organisations such as English Heritage, Historic England and the National Trust, and amongst many others have included:

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  • The newly published Archaeology and Landscape at the Land’s End, Cornwall. The West Penwith Surveys 1980-2010, presents a synthesis of three decades of archaeological fieldwork by Cornwall Archaeological Unit, Historic England and the National Trust. This 350 page hardback book explores the landscape evolution of the ancient fields, farmsteads and churchtowns across the Land’s End district as well as the area’s industrial history. 
  • Cornish ports and harbours; assessing heritage significance, threats, protection and opportunities English Heritage commissioned Cornwall Archaeological Unit to undertake this project as part of the National Heritage Protection Plan. Ports and harbours make a major contribution to local character and distinctiveness, forming an especially dynamic part of the coastal historic environment resource.
  • Historic England has commissioned Cornwall Archaeological Unit and Coastal and Offshore Archaeological Research Services (COARS), University of Southampton, to undertake the Phase 1 component of the Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey (RCZAS) for South-West England (South Coast Cornwall incorporating Plymouth and a part of South Devon). 
  • Historic England have commissioned Cornwall Archaeological Unit and maritime archaeologist Kevin Camidge to prepare a Conservation Plan and Management Statement for Bartholomew Ledge, a Protected Wreck Site lying in St Mary’s Sound, Isles of Scilly.
  • Historic England has commissioned Cornwall Archaeological Unit and maritime archaeologist Kevin Camidge to prepare a Conservation Plan and Management Statement for Tearing Ledge, a Protected Wreck Site situated some 350m to the south-east of the Bishop Rock lighthouse in the Isles of Scilly.
  • Historic England has commissioned Cornwall Archaeological Unit and maritime archaeologist Kevin Camidge to prepare a Conservation Plan and Management Statement for the Royal Anne Galley, a Protected Wreck Site lying off the Lizard Point at the southerly tip of Cornwall.
  • The National Mapping Programme (NMP) is an ongoing project initiated and funded by English Heritage. It’s aim is to identify, map and record archaeological sites visible on aerial photographs and other airborne remote sensed data such as LIDAR. CAU have been delivering NMP projects since the inception of the programme in 1994 and are currently mapping the Purbeck area of Dorset. 
  • Secrets of the High Woods – A collaborative project working with colleagues from the Aerial Investigation and Mapping team, Historic England. The project involved  archaeological landscape survey using aerial photographs, LiDAR and various data sources to investigate the tree covered upland areas of the South Downs National Park Authority.
  • New Forest Remembers - archaeological landscape survey using aerial photographs, LiDAR and various data sources on behalf of the New Forest National Park Authority.

Cornwall Archaeological Unit also seeks to collaborate with university-based researchers when appropriate opportunities arise.

Examples have included;

The Lyonesse project - in partnership with Cardiff University, developing a new model for prehistoric sea-level change in the Isles of Scilly.

For further details: enquiries@cau.org.uk