Peter Gaskell is working with Jeremy Lake and Chantal Freeman over 10 months in 2018 to undertake a project for Historic England, which aims to complete and publish a baseline statement for England’s National Character Areas (NCA).
Historic farmsteads make a fundamental contribution to landscape character, local distinctiveness and a sense of place. They display an immense variation in their scale, layout, architectural form and use of materials, and the way that buildings of different dates and types relate to yards, other spaces and the surrounding landscape and settlement.
They are also assets which, through agricultural or new uses, can make an important contribution to the rural economy and communities. Historic England has led national research on this subject and has produced guidance on the conversion and maintenance of farm buildings. However, further work is still needed to develop the evidence base, in the form of Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements. The aims of this project are to complete and publish a baseline statement for England’s NCAs. The Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements will inform decision-making by all those involved in the conservation, reuse and development of historic farmsteads and farm buildings.
The Farmsteads and Landscapes Statements will provide, for the first time, an interpretation of the farmsteads and farmed landscapes of England to inform research agendas.