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Flying through Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's past



The National Mapping Programme, a project commissioned and paid for by English Heritage, mapped archaeological and historical sites visible on aerial photos in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This was carried out by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall Council. This project began in January 1994 and was completed in the spring of 2006.

The aim of the National Mapping Programme is to 'enhance our understanding about past human settlement, by providing information and syntheses for all archaeological sites and landscapes visible on aerial from the Neolithic to the twentieth century'.

Many aspects of Cornwall's past are embodied in the landscape of today. Aerial photos offer a way of exploring how this landscape has developed over time. Find out more about aerial photographs and archaeology.

The project has enhanced our knowledge of the past and added to our understanding of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly's ancient landscape which we aim to share here using the timeline.

Find out more about the project.

This project also built on the results of previous works including specific survey work carried out on Bodmin Moor to improve our understanding of this landscape.

The study of aerial photos have also contributed to Historic Landscape Characterisation. This is a useful way of understanding the development of landscape.

View our map of the Historic Environment of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with it's many layers of information (under the Historical group of Layers).