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2. Research - past archaeology reports and old maps

The next stage is to see whether any of the sites being considered has had any previous archaeology exploration. To find out, we look at local and national records of past archaeology surveys and digs. Some such information is available online but other records are held by museums. We also often seek the advice of the County Archaeologist in Winchester.


Past excavation in Sheep Street. © Petersfield Museum & Art Gallery 2023

The next useful source of information comes is from old maps. These are incredibly useful for showing how roads, buildings, rivers, railways and field boundaries have changed over time. Petersfield Museum has some lovely old maps of the town, such as these below.

Big Dig town map.jpg

Old maps of Petersfield. © Petersfield Museum & Art Gallery 2023

Big Dig Shackleford mapjpg.jpg

Many of these were associated with property deeds or sale of properties. We also find the historic Ordnance Survey maps to be invaluable, especially the large-scale (25 inch to the mile) maps. Strangely the best source of these for England is the website of the National Library of Scotland, where you can look up maps of almost any part of the country as far back as the early 1800s.

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