The Hoo Peninsula, located on the north Kent coast 30 miles east of central London, extends into the Thames Estuary between Gravesend and Rochester.
The peninsula lies in the local authority areas of Medway and Gravesham and is bounded by the River Thames to the north and west and the River Medway to the east. It is home to just over 31,000 inhabitants with settlements varying in size from over 7000 residents to just a few hundred.
Between 2009 and 2012 English Heritage carried out the Hoo Peninsula Historic Landscape Project. The project aimed to increase knowledge and understanding of the historic environment of the Hoo Peninsula, capturing how its history and archaeology contributed to the character of the modern landscape, including the estuarine and marine environments.
Proximity to London and the Medway Towns has increased pressure on the peninsula’s land use, in the form of housing, economic and infrastructure developments. Like all landscapes, it is also subject to environmental change. It is hoped that the project results will provide an improved basis for management and decision-making and enable the historic environment to fully inform the strategic decisions that will shape future change on the Hoo Peninsula in the coming decades.
A variety of approaches were used to analyse the peninsula’s landscape. These included:
- A palaeoenvironmental review
- Analysis, interpretation and mapping of the peninsula’s archaeological sites and landscapes that can be seen on aerial photographs
- Ground-based survey and analysis of key sites such as Cooling Radio Station and Cliffe Explosives Works
- A series of Outline Historic Area Assessments to investigate the peninsula’s buildings and villages, such as High Halstow.
- Historic Seascape, Farmstead and Landscape Characterisations, to capture how the character of the modern landscape, farmsteads and marine / estuarine environments reflect the area’s historic development