Aerial Photography and the Military Monks

Ref: C3672564

The course will show a range of air photographic evidence, local, national, discuss the nature of the air perspective; the history and development of the subject with wartime (WW1 &WW2) use and accelerated improvements; modern applications, enlarging the envelope - film types, spy technologies, LIDAR and satellite imagery. Crop marks -ve & +ve, shadow, soil and earthworks will all be discussed as well as mapping the data. The origins, function, organisation and financing of the military monastic orders will all be discussed as well as the decline of the Templars, Hospitallers, Tutonic and Lazarine orders.

Course aim

The course will introduce students to the concept of archaeological air photography, how and why 'crop', soil and shadow marks are formed. To show how, where and why the four orders of Military monks of the 12th to 16th century operated.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Fort all with an interest in archaeology both from the air and on the ground

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Describe the processes that create crop marks.
  • List the types of crop and soil marks -ve and +ve.
  • Show how the development of LIDAR and digital mapping has changed our ability to model past landscapes.
  • Explain the paradox of the Military Monks
  • Outline the development of the military monastic orders, their rise and decline.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Bring an enquiring mind and a thirst for information.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Air Photo Interpretation for Archaeologists. Wilson D.R. 2000, Tempus, Stroud. Historic Landscapes of Britain from the Air, Ed Glasscock R. 1992 CUP. A History of Aerial Photography, Barber, M. 2011, English Heritage, Swindon.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full Course information sheet

Aerial Photography and the Military Monks


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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