Historic Building Assessments and Conservation Management Plans
Nigel has for many years undertaken Historic Building Assessments, usually in response to requests from local planning authorities to building owners prior to planning consents for conversions or demolitions, most often of redundant agricultural buildings. Over the years he has also contributed to a number of CMPs for major clients, on, for example, Shrewsbury Castle, Worcester Guildhall, the Stratford properties of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the medieval city walls of Hereford.
Urban archaeology has been Nigel’s principal activity and major interest since training in Norwich after leaving school in the 1970s. Since then he has undertaken academic research in Worcester and Gloucester and compiled the Urban Archaeological Databases (UADs – enhanced sites & monuments records) for English Heritage in Shrewsbury, Worcester and Hereford. He has been an active member of the Birmingham University-based Urban Morphology Research Group since the 1990s.
Nigel has had a long association with Shrewsbury, from his first excavation in 1978 (the Castle Gates Library) to his 2010 Shrewsbury book for English Heritage. He has also produced two popular archaeology titles (1998 and 2003) and has compiled many ‘grey literature’ client reports, including watching-briefs, evaluations, assessments and building surveys for a wide variety of bodies and individuals.
He is a regular public speaker on the archaeology of the town and regularly undertakes themed walking tours for groups. Please get in contact if you would like more information.
The archaeology of English Rivers
A regular kayaker since c.2000, it was not long before Nigel discovered the wealth of archaeological remains to be found in, under and next to English rivers, particularly the Severn and its tributaries. In addition to leading guided tours (see below), this became a professional concern in 2015 with the survey for the National Trust of the underwater remains of the Old Tern Bridge in Attingham Park. An expedition into the culverted watercourses under the city centre of Bristol in 2013 has additionally highlighted the unexploited academic potential of the subject.
Paddling into the Past
For more than a decade Nigel has, in association with Drummond Outdoor, led canoe-based guided archaeological tours of the Severn above and below Shrewsbury. The most popular of these, run every year, is the Do-the-Loop trip around Shrewsbury from Frankwell to the Castlefields Weir; in 2016 this featured on More4’s Discovering Britain television series. For further details of planned trips please contact Nigel, or Drummond Outdoor.
Excavations and survey for community projects
Nigel has directed or supervised excavations and trained volunteers for a wide variety of local community projects. These have included: excavations at Lower Brockhampton, Herefordshire, (with Chris Atkinson and David Williams) for the National Trust; the excavation of Second World War resistance bunkers (Auxilliary Unit operational bases) at Bromyard, Herefordshire and a metal-detector survey of a Victorian Rifle Volunteers’ firing range, also at Bromyard, for the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and Herefordshire Archaeology. Most recently he has been directing excavations at Longtown Castle for the HLF-funded Longtown Castles Project and Herefordshire Archaeology.