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The Heritage of Hart Project

The Heritage of Hart Project began in 2009. The initial aim of the project was to create a ‘snapshot in time’ of the village and to record its historic buildings with local volunteers, including members of the Hart History Group and Hart Parish Council. Historic maps and plans were used to help trace the history of surviving buildings and plot the development of the village over time. This survey took place over a week in October with a public open day to present the initial results of the survey. You can download the 2009 survey report here: -


Heritage of Hart 2009: Snapshot in time survey

Recording historic farm buildings

World War II Survey 2010

The initial 2009 survey demonstrated that the village played a significant role in World War II and in 2010 the project team carried out a second season of research to recover information about the village at this important point in history.


In this part of the project the memories of local people played a critical role. The work revealed a number of previously unrecorded anti-invasion defences including anti-tank ditches, roadblocks and anti-glider obstacles.

The locations of two secret auxiliary headquarters were also identified. From these, soldiers trained in guerrilla warfare would operate in the event of a successful invasion. The survey also recorded a number of surviving air-raid shelters and memories of a former Prisoner of War camp.


The report for the World War II survey project can be downloaded here: -


Heritage of Hart 2010: An Historic Environment Survey of the Village in World War II

Air Raid Shelter Steps

Hart Smallholdings Survey 2010

In 1938 three sets of smallholdings were established around the perimeter of the village and it was decided that these would be recorded in more detail in 2010. Each smallholding consisted of a semi-detached house with land supplied for farming along with piggeries, hen houses, cold glass houses, pigs and chickens. This may have been the last chance to record many original features, particularly the timber agricultural buildings which have undoubtedly exceeded their expected life span.


A separate report was produced on the smallholdings: -


Heritage of Hart 2010: An Historic Environment Survey of the Smallholdings

A piggery at The Fens smallholdings

Anglo-Saxon Hart 2012

Further project work took place in 2012. The focus of this was to compile the evidence for the Anglo-Saxon period in the village through study of documentary sources, place-names, a collection of pre-Norman Conquest sculpture at St. Mary’s Church and archaeological evidence. As part of this project a geophysical survey was commissioned from Archaeological Services, Durham University to search for the possible site of an Anglo-Saxon church at Kirkfield. The reports for this work are available below: -


Heritage of Hart 2012: Anglo-Saxon Hart

Kirkfield Geophysical Survey Report 2012

Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture from Hart Church
Excavations in Hart in 2018  

Due to the interest in the ongoing archaeological excavation at Hart, we have decided to make the reports on the previous work at the site (which are available as part of the Historic Environment Record) accessible here. Please click on the image to open each report. Please note these reports are large files and may take some time to download.

(By kind permission of Archaeological Services Durham University)

Archaeological desk based assessment and geophysical survey (17 MB)

Archaeological trial trenching phase 1 (7.5 MB)

Archaeological trial trenching phase 2 (11.5 MB)


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