Traditional farmsteads and buildings are heritage assets which make a significant contribution to both
landscape character and local distinctiveness. They are also, through a diversity of uses, assets for local
communities and economies. Future change in historic farmsteads is inevitable if they are to be retained
as a distinctive part of the rural landscape: otherwise, they risk decay and dereliction.
Historic England has helped Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire Buildings Record in developing:
GUIDANCE to inform change and enhance understanding of how farm buildings contribute to the
distinctive and valued character of our rural landscapes;
AN EVIDENCE BASE, using the mapping and analysis of their historic character and survival in
The Wiltshire Farmsteads Project Summary document gives an overview of the products and information
that is available.
Use The Guidance
- The Farmstead Assessment Framework will help you consider the issues and potential for change
at the earliest stage in the planning process, based on understanding the historic character and
significance of a site.
- The Wiltshire and Swindon Farmsteads Character Statement (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) provides illustrated
guidance on the historic character and significance of Wiltshire’s farmsteads and landscapes, and the
areas into which it subdivides.
- Farmstead and Landscape Statements provide more detailed guidance for each of the following
National Character Areas which fall wholly or partly within Wiltshire:
- The Farmsteads and Recording Guidance is aimed at volunteers who are working in building recording
groups or who are thinking of operating within one.
Use The Evidence Base
- The Wiltshire and Swindon Farmsteads and Landscapes Project Report summarises the results of
mapping the historic character and survival of more than 4000 farmsteads and 2700 outfarms and
field barns. The second edition Ordnance Survey maps of around 1900, compiled after the last major
phase of building traditional farmsteads in England, were used as a baseline.
- The Historic Environment Record User Guide will help you use the resulting records for planning
If you would like to know more about this exciting dataset or have any comments, then please contact us
using the following details:
Telephone: 01249 705508
Address: The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road,
Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 3QN.
For Historic England’s advice and research, see: