Council calls for public help to put North Somerset on the map


North Somerset residents are needed to help build a fuller picture of local history for a new historical database. Know Your Place is a free online historical map system that allows users to discover and compare periods of history.

Working with Historic England, the Great Weston Heritage Action Zone, local community groups, volunteers and libraries, North Somerset Council has digitised and transcribed hundreds of historic maps and documents onto Know Your Place, creating a resource for those interested in the history of North Somerset

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council said: “Know Your Place is a fantastic tool that highlights historic changes in the landscape of North Somerset at key points in history. We have hundreds of entries that have been loaded up over the last two years, but to build a rich and diverse community map of local heritage, we need more information and more volunteers to add it.”

Cat Lodge and Kate Hudson-McAulay, North Somerset Council’s Archaeologist and Conservation and Heritage Officer, (pictured), said: “We’ve spent time showing local community groups how to use Know Your Place to help their research into the history of their areas and have learned some new information ourselves. Know Your Place North Somerset also includes information on all the archaeological and historical sites across the district and although we’ve discovered a huge amount of information, there’s more to be found. We hope that more residents will share the heritage that is important to them on the community layer and start adding their history onto this valuable tool.”

Know Your Place, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is an ambitious online mapping project that overlays maps from various periods of history, allowing users to compare how streets or areas look today alongside maps from the past.

Cara MacMahon, Heritage Action Zone Project Officer, said: “If you’re trying to think of fun activities over the holidays, spending time looking at the maps and information on Know Your Place, and even uploading pictures and information about what is important to you in your local area, is a great way to occupy a few hours. I guarantee you will get hooked.”

Visit http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/?edition=nsom to load your historic information onto Know Your Place.

The Heritage Action Zone is part of the Weston Town Centre Regeneration Programme which is delivering improvements to key sites within the town and encouraging inward investment.

Weston was one of the first places to be awarded Heritage Action Zone status. There are now 18 Heritage Action Zones in villages, towns and cities across England.