Buildings Archaeology – revealing the past through the examination of the upstanding architectural heritage

Buildings Archaeology is an archaeological discipline focused on untangling and reconstructing the history of upstanding architecture through detailed observations of the structure’s fabric and features.

In a similar way to architectural conservation, buildings archaeology uses a suit of scientific and analytical techniques to describe, assess and date structures.

CHC is passionate about historic buildings, with our portfolio of works ranging from humble farmworkers cottages or farm steadings to high-status structures, such as medieval Scottish tower houses or eighteenth-nineteenth century gulf fortifications. No matter what type of building, we approach each with the same ethical considerations, as all are unique representatives of our shared heritage.

We have decades of experience in buildings archaeology, with David Connolly being one of the first practitioners of the discipline, having first applied and tested the now standard techniques in the 1990s at various sites across Scotland and the UAE. While working as assistant council archaeologist, David also contributed to the first national guidance document for practitioners in Scotland.

Depending on the project specifications, we can examine a single structure in detail, or conduct a large-scale survey on a local, regional or even national scale. From a simple cottage or even a complete complete town, we have the skills to carry out detailed recording, analysis and publication that suits you and the heritage protection requirements.


Case Studies

Project: Garleton Castle, East Lothian, UK
Client: Wemyss and March Estates and The Pollock Hammond Partnership
Appraisal of the upstanding building and comprehensive historical analysis of available records from the 12th century to the present.

Connolly, D, Yeoman, L & R, McCarthy 2012. Garleton Castle, Athelstaneford, East Lothian. Data Structure Report.

Project: Pitcox Cottages, East Lothian, UK (2017)
Client: Private Client
An enhanced level of archaeological building appraisal and concomitant desk-based assessment was carried out by CHC prior to the development of the category B-listed former farm labourers cottages at 1-4 Pitcox, East Lothian. These structures represent some of the earliest improvement cottages in the area, in virtually unaltered form, and archaeological assessment was required to inform subsequent renovation works.

Connolly, D. & H. Kdolska 2017. 1-4 Pitcox Farm Cottages, Pitcox, East Lothian. Data Structure Report.

Project: National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah (2017)
Client: Department of Antiquities and Museums, Government of Ras al-Khaimah
The investigation involved a synthesis of the historical sources, review of prior archaeological works and an enhanced historic building record (HBR) of the former Fort, which houses the National Museum of Ras al Khaimah. The works were carried out in order to provide a comprehensive phasing of the entire structure, to inform all intended future restoration and conservation works.

Connolly D & H Kdolska 2017. National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah Fort: Analytical and Historical Assessment of the Fort Structure. Unpublished HBR report.

Project: Traditional Architecture of Ras al-Khaimah (2018, 2019)
Client: Department of Antiquities and Museums, Government of Ras al-Khaimah
The project was designed to identify, locate and evaluate a representative sample of the vernacular architecture of the emirate, which represents an incredibly rich and diverse heritage resource in need of detailed systematic study. The project was also intended to enhance existing material and provide key data for planning control and heritage assets protection. Over 2200 sites were located and the condition and typology of 647 structures were recorded, including a brief written description and basic photography, between the two fieldwork seasons, as well as. All information was added to a custom-built geospatial database. The project’s final season and subsequent publication(s) are intended in the near future.

Connolly, D & H Kdolska 2019. Traditional Architecture of Ras al-Khaimah (UAE), Mapping Project: Phase I. Unpublished Data Structure Report for the Department of Antiquities and Museums, Ras al-Khaimah.

Connolly, D. & H. Kdolska 2020. Traditional Architecture of Ras al-Khaimah (UAE), Mapping Project: Phase IB (Season II). Unpublished Data Structure Report for the Department of Antiquities and Museums, Ras al-Khaimah.

Contact us
+44(0)787 6528498
+44(0)1368 840847

Company Details

CHC is a trading name for BAJR Ltd
Company No.:  SC654150
VAT: GB315846200