Merseyside Rural Fringes and Urban Areas reports

In the early 1980s archaeologists in Merseyside, working for the 'Archaeological Survey of Merseyside', hosted by the County Museums (predecessors of National Museums Liverpool), started to create a Sites and Monuments Record – listing all known locations and sites of archaeological or historical interest in the county.  This dataset has been a vital tool in planning and development control and crucial to ongoing research into the region’s past.

As work was underway to locate sites of heritage interest, several reports were commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Merseyside County Council to collate and synthesise the knowledge which was being developed about the historic character of the areas.  These are reproduced here from the original typed versions.

Wirral Rural Fringes Survey Report, Gill Chitty, 1979

The first study to assess the archaeology of rural areas of Merseyside focussed on Wirral. The study of documentary sources and fieldwork led to creation of the first ‘hazard maps’ for Merseyside which highlighted areas of archaeological potential. These have now been translated into part of the Historic Environment Record, managed by Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service.

St Helens Rural Fringes Survey Report, Gill Chitty, 1981

Through searches of published material and fieldwork, the history of St Helens is reviewed in relation to the potential for archaeological survival of archaeological remains.

Knowsley Rural Fringes Survey Report, Ron Cowell, 1982 

Within this study of Knowsley both the rural and urbanised areas of the borough’s townships were considered. Selective study of documents held in the local record office alongside fieldwork, including recording of 18th century and earlier buildings, brought together important evidence about the history of the area. 

Sefton Rural Fringes Survey Report, Jen Lewis, 1982

Sefton was studied using documentary sources and fieldwork. As with other regions numerous sites known from documentary sources have not been precisely located but there remains potential that they may be revealed in the future.

Liverpool Urban Fringes Survey Report, Ron Cowell, 1983

The Liverpool Survey was the fifth and final part of the survey. The ‘fringes’ being considered were primarily undeveloped land at the eastern edge of the borough, bordering Knowsley. 

Wirral Urban Areas Report, Gill Chitty, 1983

Following the completion of reviews of the rural fringes reports, it was considered expedient to review the potential for archaeological remains in neglected urban areas of Merseyside, and this was tested with this report on the Wirral.

More recent reports

While research has advanced since the early 1980s these reports remain a useful overview of the archaeology of the region. The Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens reports were revised and reprinted by Merseyside Archaeological Society in 2002, to purchase a copy contact Merseyside Archaeological Society.