Architectural History: The Archaeology of Our Built Environment

Course Details

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Buildings are some of the most visual reminders of our past heritage and reflect our social, political and cultural histories. From the medieval castle to the local pub; the grand gentry house to the 1950s terrace; the quaint stone village bridge to the Edwardian cricket pavilion. All reflect the people that designed, built, and used these structures. You will explore the origins of your building, the people and events that shaped its history and how to record and present those data.

Archaeologists treat historic buildings as artefacts. Artefacts whose physical secrets can be uncovered using investigative techniques such as in-depth building investigation and measured survey, historical and archival analysis, and fabric analysis such as dendrochronology (tree-ring dating).
This course focuses mainly on British building history and will use a wide range of historical and archaeological online resources such as Historic Environment Records, the Listed Buildings register and early maps such as the tithe and 1st edition Ordnance Survey. Students will learn the techniques required to effectively research and record historic buildings, to locate and interpret key sources, and to date and present their architectural past: all key professional heritage skills.

This self-paced, online course will enable students to study from home and participate in an online community of other students. The module is delivered through Blackboard, our online learning environment and can be studied as a stand-alone course, but it is also an optional module for the Certificate of Higher Education in Genealogical Studies at Aberystwyth University.

1. Press article 500 words (40%)
2. Research poster (40%)
3. Annotated building floor plan (20%)


This module is at CQFW Level 4