Revising Pevsner’s Cornwall
Client: Yale University Press
Keystone is providing some of the research to support the author of the revision of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s volume in the Buildings of England series, last revised in 1970. The end result will be an extended and updated edition of this classic architectural guidebook, combining a gazetteer of sites with an introductory essay on Cornwall’s distinctive building heritage.
Thatching and the thatching industry
Client: English Heritage; Devon County Council
Initially we worked for English Heritage, Jo Cox co-authoring, with John Letts one of a series of
publications on thatch: Thatching in England 1940-1994: English Heritage Research Transactions,
Volume 6 (April 2000).
Both Keystone partners were later commissioned by Devon County Council to write a book Devon Thatch (2001, Devon Books), which won a local history award, and then to produce a Devon County Council advisory leaflet for thatch owners.
Traditional Kent Farmsteads
Client: Kent County Council and some of the Kent Local Planning Authorities
We undertook an extensive survey of Kent farmsteads for a project managed by Sell, Wade and Postins. We provided low level databased records on groups of traditional farm buildings in use, redundant and converted. The objective was to provide the planning authorities with a snapshot of the impact of changes to farming on agricultural buildings to underpin future planning strategies. The records were archived at the Kent Rural Life Museum.
The Devon Longhouse
Client: Dartmoor National Park Authority
Research to identify known and possible longhouses (farms incorporating a cow-house at one end) within the boundary of the Park from written records. The aim was to develop an understanding of the extent and survival of longhouses and to inform the Park’s strategies for their conservation.
The Conservation of Boats and Ships
Client: National Historic Ships
Following work on the ss Great Britain, National Historic Ships commissioned us to draft the outline and preliminary text of a book on the conservation of boats and ships, working closely with a publication committee. This was developed by National Historic Ships as a collective effort, and published as Conserving Historic Vessels in 2010.
Client: English Heritage
Cornwall’s nonconformist chapels are a distinctive element of its built heritage and its religious, social and economic history. They range from very large, architecturally sophisticated buildings to simple vernacular examples. We undertook documentary research on the history of Cornish chapels as part of a larger project. This included an extensive survey of all standing Cornish chapels to develop a better understanding of the importance of the buildings and to re-evaluate their statutory protection. The report was developed into a book, co-authored by Eric Berry, Jo Cox and Jeremy Lake and edited by Jeremy Lake, Diversity and Vitality: The Methodist and Nonconformist Chapels of Cornwall (2001, English Heritage and Cornwall County Council).
The Victoria County History Project on Exmoor Farmsteads
Client: The Victoria County History
The Victoria County History commissioned Keystone to research and record in detail three Exmoor farmsteads as part of their project, ’England’s Past for Everyone: Exmoor’. The Keystone work was used as the basis of reconstruction drawings published in Exmoor: The Making of an English Upland ed. Mary Siraut (History Press Phillimore & Co., 2009).
Devon Dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) Project
Client: English Heritage and Devon County Council
A joint research project with the University of Sheffield Dendrochronology Laboratory. Forty farmhouses from the late medieval period through to the mid 17th century were selected for tree-ring dating. Their roof timbers were sampled and analysed by the Sheffield laboratory and recorded by Keystone with measured survey drawings. The objective was to develop the dendrochronology curve for oak timbers in Devon, to enable historic roofs to be scientifically dated. The recording provided a cross reference of roof truss types with dated timbers.
Blackdown Hills Farmsteads Project
Client: Blackdown Hills Partnership
An extensive project involving low-level recording of unconverted farmsteads as a characterisation exercise following the designation of the Blackdown Hills as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Keystone undertook a rapid survey and assessment including analysis, basic dimensions, sketch plans and photography. A special database was designed by Devon County Council and has since been used by the Dartmoor National Park Authority.