One of the best and earliest collections of aerial photographs is housed at Cambridge University and includes many taken by JK St Joseph at the behest of the Deserted Medieval Villages Research Group in the 1950s. There is an online catalogue where you can search for photographs by subject or place – see the previous blog on aerial photographs here. In recent weeks the website has gone through an overhaul which is improving access to many resources.
Since then, images have started to appear on the Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photography website – a great addition when studying settlement – http://www.cambridgeairphotos.com/. At the moment it is hit and miss whether the one you are looking for is available but a number of early ones are starting to appear – at least ones from the 1960s and many showing excellent village earthworks. Currently there is no way to copy images but look at these two links and they will give you examples of what to expect – Clopton in Cambridgeshire and Wharram Percy in Yorkshire.
As well as searching for specific places there is a Village theme which contains a number of excellent examples for browsing – and can be found here. Of the near 12,000 photographs listed in this theme nearly 4,000 have photos online.
This is obviously still a work in progress but big steps have been made in recent months putting more and more images online – so keep going back to see what additions appear in the future.