The Defence Heritage Project was initiated in c. 1997 as part of the Defence of Britain Project co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). It aims to create a permanent record of the many 20th-century defensive structures located throughout Northern Ireland including trenches, gun and search emplacements, pillboxes, observation posts, airfields, harbours, naval and flying boat bases, air raid shelters, etc.
Compiled by a dedicated group of volunteers under expert guidance by staff in the Environment & Heritage Service for Northern Ireland, the record that has so far been created comprises approx. 200 files relating to each individual feature or structure identified. These files contain a range of pertinent information relevant to each site including grid references, detailed descriptions, copied articles, extracts, illustrations maps, plans and photographs etc. Details are stored in hard-copy as part of the Monuments and Buildings Record maintained by the Built Heritage branch of the Environment and Heritage Service with digital copies sent to the Defence of Britain Project where they are integrated into the main Project database. The records are filed by county/unitary authority in numeric sequence.
The strength of the Defence Heritage Project lies in the completeness of its coverage and subject matter. It comprises a unique and comprehensive working record of 20th century military structures found throughout the north of Ireland.
The Defence Heritage Project contains approx. 200 files comprising a range of original and copied papers and photographs.
The collection is arranged and indexed according to a unique identifying reference system. Files/records are arranged by county/unitary authority in numeric sequence with details available in both hard-copy and digital formats.
Information can also be accessed on-line on http://www.britarch.ac.uk/projects/dob/a> and http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/resources.html?dob.
The Defence Heritage Project is an evolving resource developing as a result of on-going work by the department.