Department for Culture Media and Sport

scheduled monuments

England is renowned for its rich archaeological heritage. It provides a direct link with our prehistoric and historic past.

Heritage assets with archaeological interest represent a unique source of information about the lives of our ancestors, and how they adapted to and changed their environment. 

They can be valuable in their own right, but also for their influence on our perceptions of identity and spirit of place, and as a resource for:

  • research
  • education
  • leisure
  • tourism
  • regeneration

Unfortunately they are also a finite, irreplaceable and fragile resource that is vulnerable to a wide range of human activities and natural processes.

Protecting archaeology

Our approach to investigating, protecting, conserving and recording nationally important archaeological sites, including through the designation of scheduled monuments under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, is set out in the following policy statement:

Applying for scheduled monument consents

It is a criminal offence to undertake works affecting a scheduled monument without written consent from the Secretary of State. 

New applications for scheduled monument consent (SMC), and applications to modify existing consents, should be sent to the relevant English Heritage regional office. The SMC application form and application guidance is available on the English Heritage website.

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