The Warwickshire Historic Farmstead Characterisation Project (HFC) is part of a regional programme coordinated and funded by English Heritage, with additional funding provided by the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands. The aims of this regional project are to move beyond traditional approaches by contextualising farmstead buildings within their landscape setting. A consistent methodology is employed to assess the relationship between farmstead and landscape character, thus promoting understanding of local distinctiveness and sense of place. It is hoped that the HFC project will contribute to better awareness of the historic environment, allowing for change whilst maintaining regional character and promoting sustainable management.
Work carried out by Warwickshire County Council Museum Field Services between September 2009 and May 2010 recorded a total of 3037 farmsteads and 2153 outfarms, field barns and smallholdings, across the county of Warwickshire, including the borough of Solihull and small strips of land around Coventry and Birmingham. Results clearly demonstrated that the distribution of certain types of farmsteads is a direct reflection of landscape character.
The HFC project added a further 2738 non-listed and listed farmsteads to the Warwickshire Historic Environment Records (HER), and a further 41 farmsteads to the Solihull HER, for the use of the public, researchers, professional archaeologists and local authorities. This data will have key implications for future planning, conservation and management. A final project report will be produced in 2010 and will be made available online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/her