Archaeological evaluation / Archaeological test-pitting

Archaeological evaluation (trenching)

Archaeological trenching

Archaeological evaluation involves quite literally evaluating the presence, nature and preservation of archaeological remains within a development area. Archaeological evaluation usually occurs in the pre-determination or pre-application stage of the planning process, and involves the excavation of trenches, the size and number of which is usually decided upon as a percentage of the land area which is going to be developed (usually 3-10% depending on the Local Authority involved).

The results of the evaluation decides the level of mitigation (if any) that will be imposed as a planning condition on the site in question.

Often, these trenches are excavated in the first instance by a mechanical excavator, such as a JCB, under archaeological supervision. The archaeologists then take over with hand tools as soon as the first archaeological horizon is uncovered.The trenches are cleaned, features investigated and in some cases environmental samples taken and artefacts sent to specialists where necessary.


Archaeological test-pitting

Where working space is restricted or only small areas of excavation required by the Local Authority, archaeological test-pitting is often a requirement for evaluation, rather than large trenches.

These test-pits are a quick way of evaluating an area though their window on the archaeological remains is much smaller. Test-pitting is also often used on sensitive areas such as graveyards when attempting to find wall foundations for repair or replacement.

Where possible, test-pits are usually excavated purely by hand, though in cases where tarmac or other modern overburden has to be removed a small mechanical excavator is often used.

Vindomora Solutions Ltd offer a full evaluation and test-pitting service, calling on a number of specialists (where required) to make sure the work is completed as soon as possible to the highest quality in order to inform the planning process.

Our heritage solutions - useful info


Pre-planning application (PRE-APP)

Archaeological Schemes
If you're at PRE-APP stage and have advice from your Local Authority that an archaeological project is required to inform your application, we can help.


Planning Condition

Archaeological Schemes
If you've applied for your planning application and have received archaeological conditions or pre-commencement conditions in your paperwork, please click below to see how we can help.


Scheduled Monuments
(SMC work)

Archaeological Schemes
Archaeological schemes of work are required when development takes place within the boundary of a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM). Please click the button below to see how we can help.


Works to Listed Buildings

Historic Building Schemes
If you're working on a Listed Building, there's a good chance you'll need an archaeologist to record and/or research the building before works commence and possible monitor your scheme while its underway. Please click here to see what we can do to help.


Non-designated Heritage Assets

Historic Building Schemes
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows Local Authorities to designate buildings as non-designated heritage assets. If you're working on such a building, its likely you'll need an archaeologist to undertake a recording scheme.


Community or private works

Heritage Schemes
If you're a community group or charity looking for advice or to take part in (or set up) an archaeological project (or for any other archaeological works not planning-related), we can help.

Vindomora Solutions Ltd
Archaeological Practice

Registered Office
2nd floor Prospect House
Prospect Business Park
Valley View
County Durham DH8 7PW

Company Registration No. 9505415
Registered in England & Wales