Do a character appraisal of your village


Conservation officers in Buckinghamshire Council often prepare character appraisals of conservation areas within villages. These tend to be the areas with historical or architectural interest within villages and towns. Choose an area of your town or village to survey.


Using the How to date buildings worksheet, put dates to all the buildings onto a map of your chosen area. This map of dated buildings can be divided into areas within the village where all the houses are of similar date. Shade each of these areas with a different colour.

Seventeenth century house in Buckingham  Eighteenth century building in Westlington


Next, write a description of each area to go with it. You may need to do some research on your village for the background history. Also, using the Resident's survey guide, talk to people who live in the village about what they think of it. Then, using the character guide below fill in what each of the areas looks like.


Character assessment

Fill in the table below on a walk through the area your group is surveying. Take pictures of the important features too. Answer all the questions you can and note any other details you think are important to the character of the area. Then create a display with written text and images that points out the features of your local area you would like to keep and the areas for improvement. You could also include results from a survey of local residents about what they like and what they would like to improve about the area. Your report on your area could be attached to other group's reports on other areas so you have a full document for the whole village or town.




What is the main building material?


What is the main roofing material?


Approximately what angle is the roof?


Is the roof parallel to the street or at right angles to it?


How many windows do the house-fronts generally have?


What are the window-frames generally made out of?


What colours are the window frames and doors?


Is the house next to the street or does it have a front garden?


Is there a boundary wall in front of the house?


Is there a pavement/grass verge on the street?


Is there any street furniture e.g. sings, benches, railings, monuments etc…


Do the houses have any details? e.g. shutters, porches, finials etc


What kinds of houses are on the street? E.g. terraces, semi-detached, detached, flats


What scale are the houses? e.g. grand, domestic, civic


What scale is the street? Wide, narrow, straight, winding


What uses do the buildings have? E.g. shops, workshops, residential


What former uses did any of the buildings have?


What condition are the buildings in?


What sounds and smells are associated with this area?


Is the area busy or quiet? Are there specific times when it is busy?



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