I'm currently studying for an MSc in Building Adaptation and Conservation at UCLAN.
This has been generously funded by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund Townscape Heritage Initiative.
As part of this I have to produce a dissertation, I am hoping to write about how built Prehistoric Monuments, especially those in 'urban' settings sit uncomfortably somewhere between an archaeological artefacts and historic buildings.
Prehistoric Monuments seem to work well in isolated uplands where the biggest threats are sheep or the occasional hillwalker. But increasingly it is realised that prehistory is not the preserve of moors, fells and mountains but that quite often we are living with prehistory among us and that it can be a neglected urban heritage asset (see The Urban Prehistorian). There are numerous examples of prehistoric scheduled ancient monuments that sit awkwardly among modern developments because the monument itself is treated in this 'hands off' way. This has often led, conversely to the monument becoming neglected, damaged and sometimes destroyed because by isolating it, it has ceased to have meaning to its community.
I wish to focus on some particular sites which could include The Calderstones, Liverpool, located in a suburban park, currently undergoing a removal, conservation and re-installation as part of a HLF project, Aviemore Ring Cairn, Aviemore, Scotland, an 'unexpected curio in this late-20th century, white-harled bungalow landscape' - as one archaeologist puts it and the Cochno Stone , Clydebank, Scotland, the recent subject of a University of Glasgow community project in a economically deprived estate.
I wish to approach these not from the view of archaeology that sees these as items that tell us merely of the prehistoric past or at worst 'curios' but rather see them as heritage assets that could be used to create a 'sense of place' in areas that lack more traditional 'significant heritage assets' and I wish to see how the projects above (and others I will identify) have been successful or not in adapting prehistoric monuments to serve a purpose in modern communities.
If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions feel free to contact me here or leave a message below.