Broads Hidden Heritage

Broads Hidden Heritage was a project led by our partners at Norfolk County Council Historic Environment Service with the aim of connecting with local communities to create a deeper understanding of the marsh landscape.

There were four individual themes within the ‘Broads Hidden Heritage’ project which addressed different aspects of heritage. ‘Aerial Perspectives’, ‘Acle and district in World War II’, ‘Waterways and Waterside Heritage’ and ‘Understanding the Marshes’ all had the common aim of engaging with the general public, working with specialists in the respective fields to learn effective research techniques and an opportunity to contribute findings to enhance existing records on the Norfolk Historic Environment Record.

Aerial Perspectives volunteers were trained to interpret aerial photographic information from Google Earth and LIDAR data from the Environment Agency and identify features on a 1km square map area and record information about new and existing archaeological sites. As a result, there are 120 new records and volunteers have added information to 60 existing records. Read one of Aerial Perspective project updates from 2022 here.

Lidar visualisations © Norfolk County Council. Source: National LIDAR Programme TG50NW Environment Agency 26-MAR-2018 © Environment Agency copyright and/or database right 2021. All rights reserved.

Acle and district in World War II aimed to identify, document and raise awareness of World War II remains around Acle and created a new walking trail around the identified historic sites. The trail will be a permanent legacy of this project and has been used in other projects such as the Pathmakers walking festival.

A series of talks and day schools were also led by Professor Rob Liddiard. Read more about the talk in 2019 here and the day schools in our project update here.

The detailed report about one the ‘Type 22’ Pillboxes in Acle written by Archaeologist Chris Kolonko-Weet is an interesting read. Download the full report here ‘Type 22’ Pillbox MNF16801 Acle Site Record v2.0.

Understanding the Marshes was another arm of the Broads Hidden Heritage project which delivered volunteer training and day schools including the ‘Upon this rock’ talks exploring the Geology of Broadland churches. Read more about the ‘Upon this rock’ day schools in another project update from 2022 here.

Volunteer training was provided to help digitise large historic Tithe maps, which were meticulously studied and information inferred from the maps, such as field names and uses, were later added to an online mapping software so that it can be accessed by a wider audience. Read more about this exciting project here.

The programme culminated in a ‘Hidden Heritage’ conference held in October 2022, organised in association with Norfolk Archaeological History Research Group (NAHRG) and attended by over 200 participants, which included expert speakers and presentation of some of the results of the research work. More details of speakers at the event can be found here.

Over a four-year period from mid-2018, Broads Hidden Heritage delivered a programme of 16 workshop/day school sessions, as well as involvement in four conferences, attendance at the Broads Life festival, a range of walks and other informal events and the production of ten project newsletters. A series of training resources was created, and a significant number of records have been created and added to the county archive. More information on records can be requested from The Historic Environment Service by email or more info about records and other volunteering opportunities can be found online here Historic Environment Record – Norfolk County Council or through The Norfolk Heritage Explorer.