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 Archaeological Building Investigation &  Recording

Whatever your development proposals are, from a house alteration, demolition, or to a large scale construction, you may have to address archaeological conditions set by your local planning authority, the county archaeologist or other statutory bodies such as Cadw or Historic England (formerly English Heritage). Such planning conditions may require that before any permitted work commences that a program of Archaeological Building Investigation and Recording (ABIR) is undertaken by a suitably qualified historic buildings archaeologist. 

A programme of Archaeological Building Investigation and Recording  will determine, as far as is reasonably possible, the nature of the archaeological resource associated with a specified building, structure or complex. It will draw on existing records (both archaeological and historical sources) and fieldwork. It will be undertaken using appropriate methods and practices which satisfy the stated aims of the project, and which comply with the Code of conduct, Code of approved practice for the regulation of contractual arrangements in field archaeology, and other relevant by-laws of the CIfA. The programme will normally result in the production of drawings and the appropriation of high resolution photographs and an ordered accessible archive and a report. 

The definition of archaeological building investigation and recording (ABIR) is a programme of work intended to establish the character, history, dating, form and archaeological development of a specified building, structure, or complex and its setting, including buried components, on land, inter-tidal zone or underwater.


Tump Farm Glamorgan.
Tump Farm Glamorgan.
Lower Sketty Isaf Glamorgan.
Gelli Gron.
 
An ABIR may arise from one or more of the following:
 
  • prior to, during and on completion of works of repair, alteration, management or demolition.
  •  as part of the planning process.
  • in a conservation area, where records of buildings, structures or complexes and their setting may assist the local authority to determine the impact of a given proposal on the character of the conservation area as well as assessing individual buildings and structures of importance.
  • under the provisions of the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994 relating to places of worship and their internal systems of control, and such similar provisions in Wales.
  • as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
  • as the basis for, or in conjunction with, proposals or specifications for work (eg those of an architect, engineer, builder or chartered surveyor) to a building, structure, or complex and its setting.
  •  as part of an agreed strategy in mitigation of damage or loss to a building, structure or complex and its setting, including a process of controlled demolition or re-erection.
  • in conjunction with a programme of archaeological assessment, field evaluation or excavation.
  • in connection with the preparation of conservation or management plans by private, local, national or international bodies; for example as part of a total facility management scheme in a museum or related context, or where a building is seen to be at risk.
  • within the context of the interpretation and presentation of the site to the public.
  • within a programme of research not generated by a specific threat to the archaeological resource.
  • within the context of a threat from natural agencies.
  • as part of a disaster mitigation plan by way of insurance against loss or damage.

An ABIR may be undertaken at four (4) different levels of detail. Level 1 is the lowest level of detail required and will normally require only a photographic record. Level 4 is the highest level of detail required, wherein a detailed drawn and photographic record will be required of the building or structure,  accompanied by a detailed descriptive and interpretative written account.

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