Historic Landscape Characterisation is a method of mapping the present day historic character of a landscape. In Coventry an HLC project was undertaken between 2010 and 2012, funded by English Heritage as part of their national HLC programme.
The Coventry HLC Project used various sources, including historic and modern maps and aerial photographs, to examine changes in the landscape and to identify aspects of historic character that survive. The project mapped 1800 survey units within Coventry. These were recorded on a digital map (GIS) with each unit linked to a descriptive record. These units were then analysed to create 46 Landscape Character Areas, which are described in the report.
The HLC provides a starting point for those involved in managing the direction of future landscape change and will be used by the public, researchers, heritage professionals and planners. It can be used to identify those parts of Coventry's landscape that are of historic interest and should be conserved, and those areas that can best accommodate change. For example, the HLC Project has identified areas in the north of the city where the field patterns and inter-connecting lanes date back to the medieval period. More recent changes to the city's landscape are also of interest, one example being the 1920's development of the 'garden suburbs' at Radford, where Arts and Crafts style houses were built to accommodate munitions workers.
A report about the project, as well as more detailed reports describing each 'Character Area', and the geographic data for the HLC and Character Areas can all be downloaded from the Archaeology Data Service. (Just the reports can also be downloaded from the Coventry City Council website.)