Copyright (c) The Crickley Archaeological Hill Trust 1969-2021. The right to use, copy, distribute or otherwise disseminate this material is reserved to those specifically authorised by The Trust.

What’s in the archive

As the excavation proceeded, numerous drawings were made to record what was found. Since the process of excavation inevitably destroys the archaeology as it happens, the drawings made are crucial to recording the site as it was.

One important thing to record in all of the drawings is the location on the site. To do this, a grid was laid out on the site to allow every location to be recorded. This is what is shown on the back of the ‘Select Cutting’ page. The main grid used on Crickley was based on 10 metre squares identified by a letter and a number e.g. C6. However, partly because some parts of the site didn’t fit very well into that grid, and partly because of the length of time the excavations took place, other methods of recording locations were sometimes used. For example, the rampart cuttings are labelled with the letter A and a Roman numeral. For a detailed description of all the grids and how they fit together, you can download a paper describing it here (PDF, 5.8 mb).

There were four basic types of drawings made - large cutting plans; feature plans; large sections; and feature sections (sometimes just profiles). All of these can be found in the archive. Each type is described in turn, together with how to access the original documents.

Cutting plans

These plans in general cover a single cutting at a particular level - starting at Plan 1 and going deeper from there. The final plan for each cutting is generally called the Feature Plan. In a cutting with very little stratigraphy, e.g. the CH72 cuttings in the flat Iron Age area, the Feature Plan may be the only plan produced. In between the main plans, areas of special interest may be planned additionally as a overlay. Thus Plan 1 overlay comes between Plan 1 and Plan 2. All the main cutting were planned at 1:20, and generally in 2 metres squares which were then stuck together. Once back from the site, many of the plans were then traced onto single sheets for publication purposes. Thus many plans are shown in two versions - a hand original and traced version. When uploaded to the archive, all these have been rotated to have grid north towards the top for consistency.

Cutting plans are accessed in the archive. The main ones are shown on the cutting page down the left hand side, feature plan at the top and then plan 1 onwards. However these are often not the only plans - and in some cases there are many more. These are all in the album of plans which you access through the ‘All cutting plans’ at the bottom of the cutting page.

All these large format plans adhere to certain conventions:

Feature plans

Smaller plans covering one or a group of related features are often made to show aspects of excavation, either before or after a feature has been dug. These are usually attached to the back of the feature sheet, and so can be accessed from the feature schedule for each cutting. Press the ‘Details’ button on the right side of the cutting page to get to the feature schedule. Then the columns headed Pic give links to any drawings. The first two columns are the hand-drawn ones, and the second two are the traced versions. Alternatively, they are attached to the end of the feature sheet PDF. The same planning conventions are used as for cutting plans, but these feature plans were often made at a scale of 1:10 rather than 1:20.

Large sections

Section diagrams show a vertical slice through part of the site. The large section diagrams often cover quite a long length and depth, and include numerous features. These are most common for ditches or walls, which are Crickley are one of the few elements of the site to have a lot of depth to the archaeology. There are numerous sections of the Long Mound all along its length. These large sections are included in the album of plans for the relevant cutting - you access this through the ‘All cutting plans’ button on the cutting page. Many of the same conventions are used as for the cutting plans:

Feature sections

Numerous features on the site had section drawings made of them. These are attached to the back of the feature sheet and usually just include a single item - posthole, stakehole etc. Sometimes where two features are close together, the relationship between them is recorded on the feature section. Literally thousands of these drawings were made and are in the archive. You can see these drawings in the same way as feature plans. Press the ‘Details’ button on the right side of the cutting page to get to the feature schedule. Then the columns headed Pic give links to any drawings. The first two columns are the hand-drawn ones, and the second two are the traced versions. Alternatively, they are attached to the end of the feature sheet PDF. Sometimes a section was drawn after a feature was fully emptied (especially small ones like stakeholes), and in this case the drawing is called a profile rather than a section. Feature sections and profiles are almost always drawn at 1:10 scale, but occasionally at 1:5.

There should be one or more sets of coordinates on the plan to locate it in the cutting

Blue and red colours are used to show burnt stones of each colour

Yellow is used to show worn areas - either as single stones or as here by hashing

Dig season


The plan number

North arrow to orientate the plan

Scale - usually 1:20 for cutting plans

Names of planners

The green colour used on this plan is very unusual, showing what may be parts of a structure

Arrows showing tilting stones, arrows point downhill. Vertical stones are marked V

Feature numbers are shown in a rectangle

Scale - 1:20 usual for these larger sections

Description of what’s on the drawing

Some of these drawings have numbers, listed in the supervisor notebook

Season and cutting

Which direction the section is facing

Distinct from the cutting plans, sections often have quite detailed descriptions of layers, and even interpretations

Feature numbers - layers within features follow in brackets or circles

The same conventions for red/blue and arrows are used as in cutting plans