Suffolk is one of the most important counties in England for Early Prehistoric archaeological remains (Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, 1 million years ago – 4000BC). This is not just in terms of numbers of finds/sites (c. 1660 known) but also because it is home to some of the most important sites in Europe, such as Pakefield and Beeches Pit. Suffolk also has significant post-glacial “Long Blade” Sites such as Devils Wood Pit and has a wealth of Mesolithic material. Historic Environment Records for this period are incomplete and do not follow current dating and finds identification paradigms. Similarly, well-known published gazetteers of sites and finds have not been completely added to HERs, making this information unavailable to Development Management staff and the general public.
Nina Layard at Foxhall Road, Ipswich, c.1903-1905, © Suffolk Records Office S2/3/1.1
Action is needed to ensure that the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic resource is consistently and appropriately understood and managed in the planning process to ensure sustainable management of a valuable element of the county’s heritage. This project is a systematic enhancement exercise to improve the Suffolk Historic Environment Record using nationally accepted methodologies. This will serve as a basis for early engagement in the planning process and will facilitate informed management decisions. The dataset will be accompanied by publicly available resources to promote the results and the heritage assets.
This project is funded by historic England