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Castle Wall



Historic Buildings

and Churches


SUMO Geophysics will employ dual-channel frequency, or where appropriate, high-density array ground penetrating radar (GPR) techniques to investigate Historic Building and Church sites.


Geophysical surveys are often commissioned to examine these sites as part of a study of the building and its immediate environs. GPR can be used to identify a wide range of features of archaeological origin, including: -


  • Hidden voids in walls

  • Vaults and tombs

  • Graves and stone coffin burials

  • Existing and historic building foundations

  • Wells and shafts

  • Formal garden layouts, often lost below modern lawns


Above : Formal garden layout discovered using GPR at the Babraham Campus.

Geophysical work can be easily combined with Measured Building Surveys (MBS) and Aerial (UAV) photogrammetry surveys to provide a comprehensive non-invasive record of historical sites.


What are the benefits of a GPR survey?


Risk mitigation


As a non-invasive method of surveying, GPR is often the most appropriate method of investigation for many sites of historic interest, including listed buildings and ecclesiastical structures. The technique can provide both plan and depth information, and avoid the need for exploratory test pits or excavation trenches, which can potentially damage buried fragile structures.


High-quality data and reporting


SUMO is a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). All our surveys are carried out to the CIfA and the English Heritage professional guidelines as a minimum standard.   


Rapid results


Our team of experienced field surveyors and data interpreters have a proven track record of working to tight deadlines while maintaining the highest standards of geophysics surveying and reporting.


Above: High-density GPR equipment being used on a Church site.


Above: Animation of GPR data collected from Rochester Cathedral.

What deliverable can I expect from SUMO?


SUMO will provide you with georeferenced data images, fully interoperated drawings in AutoCAD or GIS format and a written technical report as a standard. Speak to a member of our Geophysics team if you have further questions related to your deliverable.




Receive a FREE Survey quotation from one of our survey engineers?


Chat through any requirements you need, including site survey, survey methodologies and detail requirements.

Archaeological Surveys


Historic Buildings


Rural & Greenfield


Urban & Brownfield

"I am delighted with the GPR survey SUMO Geophysics carried out for us at Rochester Cathedral. This can be a difficult place to work, with many complications over use, access and safeguarding. SUMO’s team were a model of professionalism throughout, which made the operational side so much easier to deal with. The results are absolutely fantastic, surpassing my most optimistic hopes for what we might achieve. I went into this project with clear aims (or at least hopes) that we might end up with a better understanding of how the medieval cloister had evolved. To find such clear evidence for a previously unknown early Norman cloister underneath the existing 12th-century one, as well as unexpected elements of the Cellarer’s Range, was a real bonus. It was also a pleasure working with the team who carried out the detailed analysis and interpretation of the survey data, which was an ideal collaboration between us. Top marks all round - thank you!"


Graham Keevill
Cathedral Archaeologist, Keevill Heritage Limited

Case Studies

We think you may be interested in reading our clients case studies.


A Time-Slice of History

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