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Compare and Contrast


The interviews highlighted certain narrative themes relating to the different forms of loss experienced at each of the sites. Comparing and contrasting these sites and therefore the themes within them may give new insights into what heritage loss means for these places.


Take a look at each of the case study sites listed for more details about them as well as to see a list of keywords relating to the narrative themes encountered at that particular site. Below are a few suggestions of case study sites that may specifically be good to compare during a single session. Alternatively, consult the list of keywords under each of the descriptions of the site and experiment with contrasting or complimentary themes yourself.


  • Long vs short-term approaches to Loss - Isle of Scilly and Hurst Castle

  • Communicating uncertainty - St Levan and Hurst Castle

  • Memories in the landscape - Gunwalloe and St Levan

  • Managing expectations - Hurst Castle and St Levan

  • Past and Future adaptation – Isle of Scilly and Gunwalloe



Isles of Scilly


The Isles of Scilly are a chain of islands lying off the coast of Cornwall. Though they appear as discrete islands now, they once belonged to one landmass. Radical landscape change is nothing new to the islanders who have had to adapt to an encroaching sea for millennia. The remains of pre-historic field systems that are now only visible at low tide in the inter-tidal zone act as reminders of the radical changes that the island has already undergone and the ones to come.


The interviews for this case study were the first to be completed and are the only ones that were filmed before the Covid-19 pandemic.


Keywords: landscape change, tourism, acceptance, future




St Levan


The chapel of St Levan is largely invisible to present-day passers-by as the walls of the chapel, now partial collapsed, blend seamlessly into the surrounding natural granite. The remains of the site are in danger of being lost through increased flooding from the adjacent stream. In order to record the site before winter storms threatened the site further, an excavation was planned by the Penwith Landscape Project and Historic England with additional support from Cornwall Council. Various issues continuously postponed the excavations start date which created uncertainty about the future of the project and the site itself.


The interviews for St Levan were completed in between lockdown events and also at a point where multiple delays were taking place so there was a lot of uncertainty about the sites future. To find out more about what happened to the site you can read this blog post:


Keywords: uncertainty, belonging, spirituality, family




Hurst Castle


The site of Hurst Castle consists of an older Tudor castle flanked on both sites by imposing structures or wings to the east and west constructed at a later date. The whole complex sits on a natural shingle spit separating the Solent from the saltmarsh behind. However, natural coastal processes such as erosion compounded by the effects of longshore drift have meant that the decline of shingle feeding the spit which has led to instability in the foundations of the western and eastern wing structures.


The management of this site is complex and the processes effecting this site, unpredictable. On 26th February 2021 the eastern wing suffered from a partial collapse. The interviews for this project were conducted within a few days of the collapse. 


Keywords: communication, heritage management, current loss, anger







The historic landscape of Gunwalloe is a complex one. There are heritage assets ranging from an iron age cliff castle to a medieval church, farm buildings first recorded in the doomsday book right through to a modern café. The area is owned by the National Trust which looking to make changes to some of the structures to better adapt to future change that are expected to impact the site. This includes changes to the Gatehouse building.


This was the last case study site to be included within the project and there were issues recruiting participants to speak about the landscape and the plans for the Gatehouse. Despite having the least amount of interviewees the views expressed by these participants remain a rich resource for considering loss at a landscape scale.


Keywords: time, adaption, future, memory

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