The Historic Environment of West Berkshire

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Turret trainer, Membury Airfield

Archaeology is the study of the material remains of the human past, but this doesn’t just mean excavating ruins and studying artefacts. The discipline has a much wider remit that includes studying and interpreting all aspects of what we call the historic environment.

The historic environment is the interaction between people and places over time. It is defined as being “All aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time, including all surviving physical remains of past human activity, whether visible or buried, and deliberately planted or managed flora.” This includes archaeological sites and finds, historic buildings and structures, parks and gardens and even the landscapes around us

There have been a number of projects that have led to a greater understanding of West Berkshire’s historic environment, such as historic landscape characterisation, historic environment character zoning and the Newbury Historic Character Study – these have all compiled a wide range of sources and information to create comprehensive studies of our heritage – please visit http://www.westberks.gov.uk/historicenvironmentprojects for more information.

We also encourage residents and visitors to engage with their local heritage. You can do this by carrying out your own research, joining a local archaeological organisation or just by getting out there and visiting some the heritage assets of West Berkshire. To find out more please visit www.westberks.gov.uk/lookingintothepast , you can find a list of local history and archaeological societies here.

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Banner Image – Padworth churchyard