Layers of History

  • Geophysics training at Revesby Abbey

Welcome to our Layers of History project!

Have you ever passed strange lumps and bumps in fields, walked down green lanes alongside ancient hedgerows, wondered what sort of ancient tree your path avoids or spotted abandoned military buildings?

We want to give everyone the opportunity to discover, understand and investigate Lincolnshire’s historic landscapes. Layers of History is a 3-year project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, that will enable you to explore the historic landscapes that hold so many clues to the unique history of Lincolnshire.

Over the next three years we'll be showing volunteers how to study and research the landscape using archaeological surveying techniques and research tools, online courses and local workshops. We'll also be choosing eight study sites where we can put all you've learned into practice! The study sites for 2017 were Revesby Estate and Abbey and Freiston Shore, 2018 study sites are Hackthorn, Hainton Estate, South Ormsby Estate and Aslackby, 2019 study sites are planned to be Harlaxton and Southrey however this might change. There will be three themes; military sites, parks and gardens and medieval settlements.

Here's what our volunteers have been doing in Revesby:

As the final stages of the Layers project come to a close, take a read of the project evaluation and find out what our volunteers discovered across the chosen Lincolnshire study sites:


Centuries of human activity have left successive ‘layers’ of evidence in the landscape. The project will show you how to recognise the characteristics of each historic ‘layer’ and learn to ‘read’ the historic development of the landscape.

Whether you want to get stuck in with earthwork surveys, carry out research in Lincolnshire archives, undertake a graveyard or hedgerow survey or learn how to paint a historic landscape, there will be something for everyone.