Department for Culture Media and Sport

historic environment

The historic environment is the physical legacy of thousands of years of human activity in this country, in the form of buildings, monuments, sites and landscapes.

It reflects our history as a maritime nation, of trade, population movement, architectural endeavor, economic, political and social development and the use of natural resources from prehistory to the present.


  • are responsible for ensuring that the historic environment of England is properly protected and conserved for the benefit of present and future generations
  • seek to promote understanding of the historic environment so that people can appreciate and enjoy the heritage assets around them
  • fund English Heritage, Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment, and the largest source of non-lottery grant funding for heritage assets
  • are responsible for the policy directions governing the Heritage Lottery Fund