Archaeological Services

Our expert heritage consultants can offer a full suite of surveys, reports and services to help you manage below ground archaeological assets.

Talk to us early to ensure archaeology does not become a project delay or constraint.

Archaeology on your site can be a costly, if not identified early and managed appropriately, but not all archaeology needs to cause project delays or constraints.  When identified early and managed appropriately many archaeology issues can be avoided, for example by 'designing-out' archaeological risk through impact avoidance. Where this is not possible schemes of work can still be organised in a way to reduce the most significant impacts, reducing project risk and associated costs..

AB Heritage consultants are expert archaeologists and practised in the design and management of a range of intrusive and non-intrusive archaeological surveys, helping you progress your development plans efficiently and meet your planning obligations. Talk to us early for the best results! 


Initial Site Heritage Appraisal

_S8Q5537We always advise our clients to consider the potential project impact of archaeology at the earliest opportunity, to avoid costly delays. Our Initial Site Heritage Appraisals have been designed specifically to provide a broad assessment of heritage risk on any land being considered for development, even prior to purchase. 

This pre-planning report will cover a single site, drawing upon available online data sources to better understand the potential risks and constraints you may face associated with the historic environment. The report will not only outline options for further works that may be required (where applicable) but will provide useful data for risk registers and purchase negotiations as part of your decision making process.


Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment


An Archaeological Desk Based Assessment focuses mainly on assessing the below ground archaeological factors associated with a development, providing a clear and impartial assessment of the potential impact associated with a development and how best to avoid them. Heritage Consultants often undertake such assessments to inform a planning application, or as an information gathering tool to help advise on site design and layout. The work includes data orders of the local Historic Environment Record; a site visit and review of data held at the Local Record Office; a detailed impact assessment; and recommendations for appropriate investigation or mitigation works, where required. Case StudyPeckham Road, London 


Geophysical Survey

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A timely Geophysics Survey can provide a clearer picture of archaeological potential, detailing the extent, nature and form of various below ground archaeology features. The survey findings allow the team to gain a better understanding of the overall potential impact of any development, providing beneficial design guidance to the client and their development team. Surveying is quick, effective and inexpensive and, when employed early, can help to limit, better target or scope out altogether later costly intrusive works. Geophysics can be employed at any stage of the planning process. Case Study: Cirencester to Fairford Cable Route


Written Scheme of Investigation (WSI)

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Written Scheme of Investigation is a method statement to ensure an efficient and phased approach to archaeological works.  It is normally prepared as a response to a planning condition. It provides details on how the archaeologists will fulfil the requirements for a specific form of works and acts as an agreement between the various parties on factors such as performance, methodology and timing. AB Heritage consultants have many years’ experience in managing on-site works and preparing Written Schemes of Investigation, in liaison with our clients and stakeholders. Click for more detail.


Archaeological Field Evaluation

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Archaeological Evaluation (often in the form of trial trenching) provides an on-site assessment to determine the presence or absence of archaeological features, structures, deposits or artefacts within a specified site. It will include the character, extent, quality and state of preservation. It enables an assessment of their significance in a local, regional or national context as appropriate. Field evaluations are often commissioned as part of the progression of a planning application, providing invaluable insight to the potential for archaeological risk. The form of works are always agreed in advance with the Local Planning Authority and guided by a Written Scheme of Investigation.


Archaeological Excavation

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Archaeological Excavation is a programme of controlled, intrusive fieldwork with defined objectives in relation to the investigation, recording and interpretation of below ground archaeological remains within a site. The records made, and objects gathered during fieldwork, are subsequently studied and the results of that study published in detail appropriate to the project design. Archaeological Excavation is often termed ‘preservation by record’ and is often the final stage of mitigation for a site.

Case Study: Ysgol Bro Dinefwr - Evaluation and Excavation

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To read about a complex project which employed a number of our services in a phased approach to planning, please see RAF Desborough Solar Park




Heritage works undertaken by AB Heritage comply with the Code of conduct and other relevant regulations of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. AB Heritage is a Registered Organisation of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and our consultants are individually accredited members


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