Report number: 28/2019

Title Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage Action Zone – Aerial Investigation and Mapping
Summary The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) opened in 1825, establishing a legacy of rail transport that remains today. The railway was chosen as one of Historic England’s Heritage Action Zones (HAZs) in 2017; the HAZ launched in May 2018 and will run for five years. The overarching aim of the HAZ is to better manage, preserve and utilise the heritage assets with a view to stimulating economic growth, especially in the build-up to the railway’s bicentenary in 2025. One of the first projects undertaken for the HAZ was an aerial investigation & mapping project of the heritage assets along the original line of the railway plus its pre-1831 branch lines (the ‘core network’). The work was undertaken by Historic England’s Aerial Investigation and Mapping (AIM) team and this report summarises its findings. Thousands of historic aerial photographs and visualisations of lidar data were analysed to produce a spatially accurate archaeological map with accompanying records for a 1km-wide corridor centred on this core network. This will inform the research strategy for the HAZ by providing an understanding of the historical and current condition of the infrastructure of the original railway within its broader archaeological and landscape context. The study identified and mapped many elements of original railway infrastructure, including bridges, buildings, crossings, embankments, cuttings and trackside boundaries. The aerial investigation also identified a broad range of features ranging from prehistoric enclosures to Second World War military remains. Coal mines on the Durham Coalfield within the study area were also mapped as these were the main driver for the construction of the railway: to transport the mined coal to staithes at Stockton and Middlesbrough for onward shipment. The project area included part of the complex archaeological landscape at Cockfield Fell, one of the largest scheduled areas in the country, and the extensive medieval remains north of Middleton St. George. The project created 198 new monument records and amended a further 60 in the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE).
Series Research Department Reports
Pages 148
  • Knight, David
Keywords Aerial Photograph Interpretation ,  Aerial Photography ,  Industrial Heritage ,  Lidar Survey ,  Medieval ,  Modern ,  Post Medieval ,  Railway ,  Second World War ,  Standing Building ,  Standing Structure