Watching briefs are an ongoing process designed to ensure archaeological remains are identified, investigated and recorded before development. They are carried out while groundwork (i.e. foundation trenches and utility trenching) is underway.

Wessex Archaeology work closely with developers so there is no undue delay to the construction programme while we record any remains discovered.


When a watching brief is required

This technique is usually required on sites that have demonstrated some archaeological potential through previous investigation, background research etc., but not enough to warrant either strip, map and sample, or detailed excavation.

Watching briefs are carried out by one qualified archaeologist, on site to monitor all invasive groundwork until it is complete or the potential for discovering remains has been exhausted.


Working in partnership

We work in partnership with the developer and/or groundworker to identify construction activity that can take place elsewhere on site while we investigate remains. Occasionally, a watching brief will identify unexpected remains that are important enough to require additional archaeologists or a contingent excavation which we are able to resource swiftly and efficiently to manage the risk for our partners.

Andy Crockett

How can we help?

Contact Andy Crockett, Regional Director South