The HLC is a way to visualise, understand and promote our historic landscape, to help manage the continued change within it, and to provide an approach to its sustainable management in partnership with others.
The HLC is represented here as an interactive map 'layer' consisting of thousands of interlinked 'jigsaw pieces' completely covering the County Durham and Darlington area. Each 'jigsaw piece' represents an area which has a specific historic character and has information on the current landscape character of that area and on any previous landscape characters through the interactive links.
Please click on the HELP button for more information of how to use this mapping resource.
The information displayed on this map is made available as a resource for researchers, both private and commercial. It is also available for anyone who is interested in the history of the area including schools, local history groups and individuals, and can be used as a framework or springboard for other research projects.
Before using this map please read our website disclaimer and mapping copyright information.
The Heritage Landscape Characterisation (HLC) mapping system should not be used to determine the archaeological implications for development. On its own it is not an acceptable substitute for information contained in our Historic Environment Record and any attempts to use the data in this way will be rejected by our Archaeology Service. If in doubt, contact us: email email@example.com or phone 03000 267013.
HLC is a project completed by Durham County Council in partnership with English Heritage between 2006-2013.
Some map information is only available at certain scales.
Every Historic Landscape Characterisation area has been characterized into the three levels: Broadclass, Category and Classification.
Each Broadclass is split into several different categories and each category will have several different classifications, as the landscape is characterised in finer and finer detail.
Historic Landscape Character Areas
This provides a coarse-grained character overview of the whole of County Durham and Darlington. These are areas which, at a very high level, have similar character types. This information displays down to 1:100,000 scale.
HLC by Broadclass
This shows the ten main Broadclass which make up the County Durham and Darlington HLC. This layer is visible between 1:100,000 and 1:24,000 scale.
HLC by Classification
This is the finest grain level of detail in the HLC. Each area is coloured by Broadclass, but click/tap on an area to see the Primary Typology shown by Broadclass|Category|Classification. This information is visible from 1:24,000 scale down, and pop-up information shows from 1:10,000 scale down.
HLC by Period
This displays the main time periods from the Iron Age to Modern times, and can be thought of as a time-slice through the HLC. This information is visible from 1:100,000 scale down.
HLC by Enclosure
This separates 'Enclosed Land' into its categories. It is also a way of time-slicing, but this shows only enclosure. This information is visible from 1:100,000 scale down and pop-up information shows from 1:10,000 scale down.
HLC by Settlement
This breaks the 'Towns and Villages' category from the ‘Settlement' area of the Broadclass into its individual classifications which are based closely on the various Ordnance Survey maps available which date from the mid-1800s onwards. This information is visible from 1:100,000 scale down and pop-up information shows from 1:10,000 scale down.
HLC by Time Depth
Each area can have more than one previous Historic Character, and this layer shows areas as being darker green the more previous types it has. It is not currently possible to offer all previous types, and only the most recent character is shown. This information is visible from 1:100,000 scale down.