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RCAHMS First Edition Survey Project

Date August 1995 - 2001

Event ID 978398

Category Project

Type Project


The First Edition Survey Project (FESP), on which this report [RCAHMS 2002, WP 003856] is based, took some six years to complete (1995- 2001) and was jointly funded by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and Historic Scotland (HS). The project was conceived in the context of growing concern (Atkinson 1995 [MS 725/99]) about the state of knowledge of Scotland's medieval or later rural settlement (MoLRS), and its aim was to provide a rapid and nationwide means of redressing the under-representation in the National Monuments Record of Scotland (NMRS) of data on post-medieval rural settlement. This was achieved by recording those structures depicted as unroofed on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey (OS) 6-inch map (1843-1878).

With the addition of over 22,000 new sites to the NMRS database, one fifth of the total number of archaeological sites recorded in the database, it may justly be claimed that this aim has been accomplished, and that a significant extension to the database of sites of pre-improvement settlement has been made (Map 1). Furthermore, this data is supported by a digital depiction of the sites, access to which may be obtained from the NMRS.

This report sets out to describe the types and distribution of the sites added to the NMRS by FESP and to undertake a preliminary analysis of the data. The topics include the survival and destruction of the sites, the effects of land-use changes on the distribution of the sites, and a discussion of the regional patterns of settlement revealed by the survey, as well as a consideration of the implications of the data for the management of this large body of sites.

RCAHMS 2002, 3,5

People and Organisations