Useful links for research
There are many web based resources that can help you with research. Below are ones we use frequently to help us plan field work or to understand and interpret sites and features.
Old maps online is an amazing resource which allows you to access georeferenced maps in many different collections including Ordnance Survey maps from the late 19th to early 20th century and maps in the British Library collection. Great for dating post medieval and modern features! You can also go directly to the Ordnance Survey maps via the National Library of Scotland website and use their 'side by side' feature which places the old Ordnance Survey map next to a modern map and so really helps with identifying the location your site or feature.
Britain from Above is the website for Historic England's Aerofilms collection dating from 1919-1953. Search by keyword or by map using ‘more search options’ and see if there are any aerial photos of your site. Users can tag the photos so it’s great for picking up extra information as well as for dating and understanding the development of sites.
Channel Coast Observatory is a great site which has whole series of recent, high definition aerial photographs taken at low tide. You can explore the foreshore from the comfort of your own home and maybe even spot sites that we don't yet have on our map!
Google Maps Satellite view and Bing Maps Aerial and Bird's Eye views can also be good for making sense of features, especially those a little far out to access safely. Bing Maps allows you to zoom in a little closer than Google and also to change your angle of view.
Google Earth, which you have to download to your computer, has a handy time slider feature accessed by the little clock and arrow in the menu bar along the top of the page. This gives you a range of aerial images from the past. This is useful for catching the tide at different heights or for looking at crop marks which can help indicate archaeological sites.
Information on sites and features
Heritage Gateway is Historic England's portal to local and national historic environment records. Use the advanced search to look at a particular area on the map, or for records for a specific period. Often, but not always, the features will be on our map too but sometimes the entries on Heritage Gateway give you a little more information that can help you with further research. If there is a record, add its number to the comments section of the CITiZAN record you're working on. You can also find more information about nationally protected buildings and sites via Historic England's National Heritage List.
Your county may have their records available online too, e.g., Suffolk Heritage Explorer or Unlocking Essex's Past. It's always worth checking these as the records are sometimes updated more regularly than on Heritage Gateway and the websites often have lots of other useful information including guides to the county's archaeology, parish histories, maps and photographs.
Wrecksite is a great site as a first port of call for shipwrecks. There's often really good information and historic photographs and it's a great starting point for research.
The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) holds so much information that it's almost impossible to describe! There's commercial archaeology units, articles from journals, occasional papers and lots lots more. It's just a question of diving in and seeing what you can find!
Grid reference finder is an online map which will give you the grid reference, latitude and longitude, address, postcode of any spot on the map with a simple right click. You can also measure distance - very useful for adding details for larger features and sites or planning fieldwork!
Tides for Fishing gives the tide tables for many months ahead so you can forward plan your trips to the foreshore. It also has sunrise and sunset times which is useful! For the 7 day tidal forecast check Tide Times. Always double check the tide before you head out and check for any weather conditions that can affect the tide!