Measured Survey for Cultural Heritage Summer School

West Dean, Chichester and Weald and Downland Museum

Monday 18 July to Friday 22 July 2011

Accurate and appropriate measured survey and imaging data is a fundamental requirement for the effective conservation, management and understanding of our cultural heritage. Such data needs to be appropriate, timely and sensitive to the nature of the site and any interventions proposed.
An extensive array of differing measured survey techniques is available today, ranging from traditional hand-drawn survey through to total stations, 3D laser scanners and other advanced digital methods.  Both survey practitioners and those procuring survey need to know the range of techniques available and understand their benefits and limitations in any given situation.
This 5 day residential course is designed to introduce the range of measured survey techniques currently available and to provide participants with both theoretical and practical instruction, focussing on the production of scaled drawings of selected buildings at the Weald and Downland Museum and landscape survey at the nearby site known as the Trundles.
Instruction will be provided by English Heritage staff who have extensive experience in the use of both traditional and advanced methods of imaging, survey and graphics.

Course Aims and Content

The Summer School will take place over 5 days, using the facilities provided by West Dean College for lecturing and demonstrations, and the nearby Trundles and a selection of buildings at the Weald and Downland Museum for practical instruction.
The principal aim is to provide a broad understanding of the processes and practices involved in the survey and recording of historic buildings and ancient monuments. This will be achieved by:

Formal lectures

Lectures will cover measured survey techniques and the application and procurement of measured survey for conservation projects.

Practical sessions

Using the monuments in and adjacent to the Weald and Downland Museum, participants will be able to apply, or see the application of, the techniques introduced in the lectures. The different measured survey techniques used by the English Heritage Survey Teams will be introduced and their application demonstrated by practical field sessions. Teachers will also demonstrate the workflow of producing survey drawings from field to finish. Participants will apply this knowledge in the production of their own drawings.

  • Measured Drawing - This fundamental skill will be demonstrated, as well as how to integrate it with measured data from other sources.
    Instrument Survey - Students will see how electronic survey instruments (total stations) can be used effectively to provide a framework for the production of the measured drawing. There will also be a demonstration of 3D laser scanning and discussion of the application of this technology in heritage recording.
  • Image-based Survey  - This term covers a range of techniques (photography, photogrammetry, ortho-photography, rectified photography) which will be explained by demonstrations, practical sessions and viewing of the derived data.
  • Procurement – Procuring measured survey from a third party contractor usually requires a specification and a brief to control the work. Participants will be shown why this is, and how to use these instruments to ensure that the right product is delivered.

Who should attend?

The course is intended to meet the needs of those already working in archaeology or buildings conservation who wish to develop a better understanding of survey techniques, their application and the procurement of survey.


At the end of the course participants will have an understanding of:

  • the majority of measured survey techniques currently used in the survey of historic buildings and landscapes,
  • the selection and application of appropriate survey techniques in varying circumstances,
  • the role of CAD as a data capture, drawing and presentation environment,
  • the issues to be addressed prior to commissioning a survey from a third party contractor,
  • recent technical developments in this field of conservation.


Find out more about West Dean College by visiting

The Weald and Downland Museum’s website can be found at

Course fee

The fee of £750 includes four nights B&B (Monday 18th July – Thursday 21st July), lunches, light refreshments, evening meals and course documentation. The fee is reduced to £675 if you book before 01/05/11. If you do not require accommodation, the non-residential rate is £400.

What's New?