Gloucester Cathedral Radar Survey

About This Project

Headland provides high level problem- solving and consultancy skills with respect to sub-surface surveys. It commonly advises on the applicability of the use of ground penetrating radar for archaeological survey. In this case a survey was carried out across an area of the cathedral precinct to assist with plans for landscaping this important site. Apart from burials there was also a consideration that the method might locate buried Roman remains beneath these.

Project Details

The City of Gloucester is well known for its Roman origins and the Cathedral sits within the walled area of this early settlement. Remains can be buried anywhere between 0.5m and 2m beneath the ground surface.

In this case years of burial will have raised the ground level and the site contains substantial numbers of inhumations associated with the Cathedral. One of the challenges was to try to identify areas that were likely to have less dense burial within them. The survey results could clearly identify the locations of burial vaults, both known and unknown. Within the resolution of the equipment and survey, identification of areas of burial were less easily distinguished although it was possible in places to identify undisturbed layers within the site. The remains of a structure that might be of Roman date were identified to the south of the site. Data was inspected both in section and also in plan as time-slices through the site.


City of Gloucester




Gloucester Cathedral


Richard K. Morriss

Contract Value

c. £4K


Radar Survey

Location: Midlands & West, Sector: Conservation, Service: Geophysics
cathedral, geophysics, radar, Roman