The range of heritage at Dunwich is diverse, including sedimentary archives (estuary environments), medieval structures and burials, earthworks, a variety of marine archaeological structures and artefacts and a range of documentary and data heritage associated with the site. This variety and wealth of information gives the site its heritage value.
The site also has a variety of environmental conditions that define the type of investigations that are possible. These include, the presence of poor underwater visibility, the burial of marine heritage by offshore sandbanks and inshore mixed beaches, the presence of episodically eroding soft cliffs, different modes of site destruction (cliff erosion, burial and re-exposure of foundations and structures by gravel barrier processes) and the presence of modern/existing buildings over earlier archaeology (notably the Maison Dieu site). The approach we adopted to collate and quantify the heritage at the Dunwich Town site was explicitly geographical; utilizing spatial mapping to integrate a variety of datasets that reflected the different environments and history of the site. Thus a key enabling technology was GIS.