Old Sarum by LIDAR

Stratford's Water Meadows scanned from above

LIDAR ARTICLE PIC 1.jpg

This is a LIDAR scan of Stratford’s water meadows. 
(Stratford’s water meadows have been explained on another page on this website.)

 

Vestiges of the water meadows can be seen by the naked eye, on maps and from  aerial photography.

 

LIDAR - Light Detection and Ranging - is a newer method where the ground and vegetation is actively surveyed from the air (plane or drone), a laser is shone down then its reflection is timed returning to the scanner. Historic England has made LIDAR scans available online, and these give an even better image of the meadows.  

LIDAR PIC 2.jpg
LIDAR ARTICLE PIC 3.jpg
LIDAR ARTICLE PIC 4.jpg

Old Sarum by LIDAR

Environment Agency LIDAR scans of Old Sarum helped the Old Sarum Landscapes Project decide where to employ geophysics and where to dig.[1]

 

All illustrations are from Historic England’s “New Virtual Aerial Map Allows Everyone to Explore England's Archaeology from the Air” Published 8 October 2021 [2]

Aerial archaeology can be fairly claimed to have been born in the Old Sarum to Larkhill area and its birth to have been heralded by the book “Wessex from the Air” in 1928 [3]. It was an offshoot of aerial military reconnaissance, a concept that predates powered flight and was used in the American Civil War (the Union Balloon Corps set up 1861) and pioneered by the French, (Napoleon’s Army Air Corps set up in 1794).

[1]  https://www.stratfordsubcastle.org.uk/old-sarum-landscapes-project

[2]  https://historicengland.org.uk/whats-new/news/new-virtual-aerial-map-allows-everyone-to-explore-englands-archaeology-from-the-air/

[3]  Wessex from the Air. Osbert Guy Stanhope CrawfordAlexander Keiller. Clarendon Press, 1928 - Aerial photography in archaeology 

Kerry O’Connor

October 2021

This article was written as part of Kerry O'Connor's

Local History Photo Quiz.

Click here to see others in the series