Meeting documents

Venue: Mezzanine 3

Contact: Penny Braithwaite 

No. Item


Election of Chairman


Mr B Chapple was elected as Chairman.


Appointment of Vice-Chairman


Mr C Harriss was appointed as Vice-Chairman. 


Apologies for Absence / Changes in Membership


The Chairman apologised that he had to leave the meeting at 3.00 pm and Mr H McCarthy would take over as Chairman for the remainder of the meeting.  Mr C Harriss left the meeting at 2.05 pm and returned at 3.15 pm.


Apologies had been received from Ms S Oborn, Mr N Crank, Ms L Levitt, Ms R Lambert, Mr C Williams, Mr B Thorn, Mr M Petchey, Mr R Pushman and Ms J Hunt


Declarations of Interest

To disclose any Personal or Disclosable Pecuniary Interests


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 290 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2018 to be confirmed.


Subject to the amendment requested by Mr R Newcombe that he be listed as a committee member, the minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2018 were agreed as an accurate record and were signed by the Chairman.


Matters Arising from the Minutes


Item 5 – The progress in making maps accessible on the County Council’s website - Mr D Sutherland, Head of Planning and Environment, reported that the issue was still being resolved and that he would provide an update when more detail became available.  Ms E Alqassar, Environment Manager, added that she was looking at a longer term, more resilient solution but it would take time to set up.  The Chairman stressed the importance of the maps being available on the Buckinghamshire County Council website and said he would try to ensure the funding for a new solution be provided and requested that the website be included as an agenda item at the next meeting. 

Action:  Ms Taylor


The action for a poster to be circulated for an event at the County Museum had been completed.


Ms Taylor agreed to contact Mr Williams to find out if the Local Access Forum had had an input to the Green Infrastructure Plan.

Action:  Ms Taylor


Hillforts Project

Dr Wendy Morrison, Project Manager, Chilterns Conservation Board, to provide an update on the Hillforts Project.


Dr W Morrison, Project Manager, Chilterns Conservation Board, talked through a presentation and highlighted the following points:


  • Hillforts was a three and a half year project, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • There were three "Beacons"

§  The beacon of discovery

§  The beacon of learning

§  The beacon of protection.

  • The map showed 22 Hillforts in the Chilterns which were colour coded according to priority.



  • There were a huge variety of types of hillforts.
  • The hillforts started in late Bronze Age and carried on through the Iron Age.
  • An app would be created for use with the project.
  • The project had a variety of reasons for looking at the hillforts individually.
  • Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) visualisation diagrams showed the features of the hillforts and should confirm further hillforts.
  • There would be 25 cm resolution on the LiDAR data to be carried out in November 2018 when there was least leaf coverage.
  • Over 250 volunteers had signed up to be trained on digital volunteering.
  • More information was available on


The following questions/points were raised during discussion:


·        Dr Morrison explained that she was obtaining quotes for the app and offered to contact Ms S Shave, County Museum Director to discuss further.

·        It was agreed that Dr Morrison attend the Bucks Historical Environment Forum meeting in September 2019 to provide a further update.

·        Dr Morrison confirmed that the project team would be prioritising digitalisation of the tiles within five kilometres of the hillforts; however, anyone in the world could log on and mark up their own tiles/space.

·        The aim was for the volunteers to continue the legacy of the project and monitor the website.

·        The problem of illegal use of metal detectors on scheduled monuments would be monitored.


The Chairman thanked Dr W Morrison for her presentation and enthusiasm.

The Following Reports are Tabled for Information and Questions:


HS2 Update pdf icon PDF 2 MB

An update will be provided by Mr Andrew Harris, Historic Environment Manager, Built Heritage.



The Chairman welcomed Mr A Harris, Historic Environment Manager, Built Heritage which was part of Fusion -  Mr Harris explained his role in Built Heritage and the archaeological works within Stoke Mandeville.


  • The team was working on four main sites in Stoke Mandeville.
  • The work had been sub-contracted to L-P Archaeology for phase 1.
  • Stoke Mandeville By-pass – 133 trenches targeted.
  • So far out of the 69 trenches opened they had been mostly blanks with no significant archaeological deposits.  This showed the lack of information shown through geophysics and that the LiDAR information was accurate.
  • St Mary’s Church, Stoke Mandeville – 37 trenches targeting areas of Iron Age/Roman features and a medieval mill.  Most trenches were found to have archaeology deposits confirming geophysical survey results.
  • St Mary’s landscape – trenches has confirmed location of ditches including postholes and other structural deposits with associated Roman artefacts.
  • To the north of St Mary’s church most of the trenches were blank.
  • The central area was mostly blank but trench 33 had to be extended as the search picked up ditches and two possible roman cremations.
  • St Mary’s Church – the excavation work had not commenced but a phased programme of works was planned and once completed the excavated church would be opened to the public for the first time since 1966.


The following points were raised/discussed:


  • In response to a question from a member of the forum Mr Harris confirmed that the earthworks on the south-west bank of the church would be preserved.
  • The works were undertaken in a dry summer and the team had expected waterlogged deposits but the bore holes but had not suggested there would be wet deposits.  However, there may be waterlogged conditions closer to the site of the church.
  • A member of the forum mentioned the local rumour of Saxon pottery being on the site but Mr Harris stated that he did not know of any Saxon pottery but thought it possible as the church was late 11th century and had been part of a manorial landscape.
  • Mr Harris explained that there was an undertaking to re-bury any human remains within the parish and that a suitable site needed to be identified; discussions with the parish council were being held. 

·       Storage of other archives/deposition of finds was also being discussed and Mr Harris agreed to contact Ms Shave from the County Museum.


BCC Report pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Updates to be provided by:


·         Julia Wise, Historic Environments Records Officer

·         Philip Markham, Senior Archaeology Planning Officer

Additional documents:


Mr P Markham, Senior Archaeology Planning Officer reported that the team had been extremely busy over the last six months.  Ms L Lawrence was joining the team in October 2018 as an archaeological officer and the team had been receiving support from a consultant for three days a week.  Mr Markham clarified that TWAO stood for Transport and Works Act Orders and was a parallel system of planning for major infrastructures.


RESOLVED:  The BCC report was NOTED.


Update from the Conservation Officers pdf icon PDF 185 KB

Conservation Officers to provide a short talk on the built environment.



Ms S Oborn, Conservation and Design Officer, had provided a written update for the Wycombe Area.


Ms M Breen-Haynes, Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) Heritage Officer, reported that there were currently three full time people in the team, herself, Mr K Frost and Ms L Levitt and she was recruiting to fill her former post. Ms Breen-Hayes reported the following:


·       There were 3,000 listed buildings recorded

·       80 conservation areas

·       Nine parks and gardens

·       The Little Horwood conservation area consultation was now complete and the comments would be considered.

·       They had been approached by Historic England for Mentmore.

·       There were concerns over what would happen to Halton House. 

·       Buildings at risk –currently dealing with 45 buildings which had been reviewed and prioritised.

·       Listed buildings – there had been three thatch fires in the last two months.  

·       There had been a flood at Winslow Hall. 

·       AVDC Design Awards 2018 – celebrating 25 years of outstanding design in Aylesbury Vale.  The 2018 awards ceremony was being held on Thursday 29 November 2018, at The Gateway.   Dinton Folly had been entered for an award.


The following points were raised in discussion:


  • Ms Alqassar also expressed concern over the future of the RAF site at Halton and the existing buildings there and asked Ms Breen-Hayes to pass on her concerns to the developers and to encourage them to consult with the County Archaeology Service.

Mr Newcombe stated that the councillors had not been involved in any discussions on Halton House and requested an update on the archaeology at the Halton site and Halton House.  Ms Shave suggested Mr Newcombe contact Mr Sutcliffe, Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Museum Trustees.


National Trust Update pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Mr Gary Marshall, National Trust Archaeologist to provide an update for information.


Mr G Marshall, National Trust Archaeologist, referred to the report contained in the agenda pack and summarised that a feasibility study to look into options for long term car parking at Cliveden had been taking place due to the popularity of the site.


There had been some interesting parch mark results from a drone survey carried out at Cliveden but a similar survey at Stowe had produced disappointing results.


RESOLVED:  The National Trust report was NOTED


An Update on the County Museum

Ms Sue Shave, County Museum Director, to provide an update.


Ms Sue Shave, County Museum Director, provided the following update:


  • Ms Shave thanked Ms Alqassar and Ms Wise for running a community dig as part of as part of a Community Archaeology Day on 22 July 2018 which was well attended.
  • The first prehistory workshop day would be taking place in November 2018 and some funding was available to invite a couple of local schools to attend the workshop.
  • A successful Heritage Open Day had been held on Saturday 8 September 2018 by Mr B Thorn.  It was an adult’s only event to meet the archaeologists and handle the objects – feedback indicated that this opportunity for adult learning w2as greatly appreciated.   
  • There had been a packed programme of events over the summer month’s e.g.

o    Civilisations - an amazing LEGO show with stunning LEGO models including life-sized human figures from civilisations from around the world, including an Aztec, a Samurai Warrior, Egyptian pharaoh and an ancient Greek philosopher.

o    Wonder Dogs: dogs that change people’s lives - an inspiring exhibition that celebrated the amazing and life-changing work of assistance dogs. 

o    Gin and Jazz – A relaxing Sunday afternoon of live jazz in the intimate setting of the Museums walled garden.

o    Aylesbury Whizzfizzing festival - inspired by Roald Dahl with music, arts and huge carnival puppets to celebrate children’s literature.

  • Future events included an outdoor cinema, a festival of light and science shows.
  • Funding due to having been awarded National Portfolio Organisation status had enabled appointment to three new roles including a Community Outreach Officer, a Workforce Development Officer working with volunteers and staff and a Marketing Officer from April / May 2018.

·       The Museum was currently concentrating on refreshing the Touch of Bucks Galleries with a new wildlife case, the work of women artists and new textiles displays, as well as planning a completely new gallery funded by grants over the next few years. The first funding application had been made to DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund 2018-20.  If the application was successful they would be in a position to start on the work next year after discussing plans with the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society and Aylesbury Vale District Council.


Any Other Business


Mr C Harris reported that HS2 were trying to ensure all materials would be brought in and taken away by rail where possible.


Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next Bucks Historic Environment Forum meeting will be held on Monday 4 March 2019 at 2.00 pm.


Monday 4 March 2019 at 2.00 pm in Mezzanine Room 2, County Hall, Aylesbury.