Historic impacts

Royal Garrison Church, Portsmouth

Oscar Gilbert & Oliver Campbell

The Royal Garrison Church in Portsmouth is a Grade II listed building with substantial historic significance, having seen the marriage of Charles II as well as lavish victory celebrations marking the defeat of Napoleon. The Church was badly damaged by a Luftwaffe bombing raid in 1941, and the nave has been left largely unaltered since then, exposing the interior masonry to the elements. The Heritage in the Crossfire team undertook fieldwork at this unique site, aiming to investigate how the damage caused by the bombing has contributed to the deterioration of stone features due to weathering over the last 80 years. The initial findings are summarised in this video, and highlight the often overlooked issue of weathering driven deterioration of heritage after armed conflict.

Funded by Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University

With Thanks to English Heritage and the Hazel Prichard Impact Prize

Conflict damage in Jordan

Oscar Gilbert & Oliver Campbell

In Jordan’s north-eastern desert sits Qasr Al-Azraq, an arguably overlooked castle that has been a site of strategic importance from Roman times through to the romanticised exploits of “Lawrence of Arabia”. Whilst travelling in the region members of the Heritage in the Crossfire team visited the site in a tourist capacity and found exciting evidence of the scars of this long history as a site of military significance.

Conflict damage in Europe and South Africa

Lisa Mol & Miguel Gomez-Heras

Conflict damage to heritage has been thrust into the global spotlight during recent conflict in the Middle East. While the use of social media has heightened and enhanced public awareness of this ‘cultural terrorism’, the occurrence of this type of vandalism is not new. In fact, as this study demonstrates, evidence of the active targeting of sites, as well as collateral damage when heritage is caught in crossfire, is widely visible around Europe and further afield. Using a variety of case studies ranging from the 1640s to the 1930s, we illustrate and quantify the changing impact of ballistics on heritage buildings as weaponry and ammunition have increased in both energy and energy density potential. In the first instance, this study highlights the increasing threats to heritage in conflict areas. Second, it argues for the pressing need to quantify and map damage to the stonework in order to respond to these challenges.

Bullet impacts and built heritage damage 1640–1939

Heritage Science, 2018

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