Gill’s visit to the National Monuments Record in Swindon

Museum members visited Swindon in August this year with Roy Canham to look at some of the magnificent collection of aerial photos in the care of the National Monument Record Office. The purpose of the visit was to compare aerial photos from the Swindon collection with images produced by the Museum’s LIDAR project. These images had been computer enhanced, making the light appear to come from different directions thus highlighting different features.

Roy had ordered up several photographs taken from RAF planes immediately after WWII over our project area. This makes it possible to study the landscape before the post war building programme covered tracks, settlements and ancient field boundaries forever.

We compared the photos with the LIDAR images using magnifying glasses. Many boundaries have been removed since the WWII to create larger fields, but LIDAR highlighted the old smaller field boundary lines which could also be cross matched in the aerial photos.

This was a valuable exercise, revealing earlier features in the landscape which now no longer exist.

See the results!

An exhibition setting out the results of our Heritage Lottery funded historic landscape project will be on show in the Library Meeting Room from 23rd November – 2nd December during Library opening hours.

Get involved!

There are many ways to get involved with the project: looking at aerial photographs, field walking, helping to plot the findings on maps, to name but a few.  For those interested in helping with the project, we will also be running training sessions on identifying earthworks, and other skills.

If you are interested in getting involved with this exciting project, please contact Roy Canham on 01225 866748 or at

If you’re not sure what you could do to help, read our How To Get Involved blog post.

If you aren’t able to help, but you want to keep up to date, then please follow our blog.  We’ll be holding public talks and other events throughout the year, so look out for announcements here.

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