English Heritage was created by Parliament in 1984 and charged with the protection of the historic environment and with promoting public understanding and enjoyment of it. English Heritage is the Government's official adviser on all matters concerning heritage conservation, conservation areas, and the repair of historic buildings.
If we treat Herstmonceux Museum as a case study, English Heritage, now re-badged, Historic England, abjectly failed to protect a potential World Heritage Site, siding with the local authority, in their attempts to procure the premises for near neighbours.
English Heritage was therefore unfit for purpose. It is proposed that the system, including the Department for Culture Media and Sport, should be given a complete overhaul.
English Heritage's principal aims were stated as:
1) To secure the conservation of England's historic sites, monuments and buildings.
2) To promote people's access to, and enjoyment of, this shared heritage.
3) To raise the understanding and awareness of our heritage to increase commitment to its protection.
English Heritage, 23 Savile Row, London, WC1H 1AB
In the matter of conservation and the old Generating Works at Herstmonceux, English Heritage's Dr Richard Morrice came into the mix of experts with Sir Neil Cossins confirming that the ball rested with Wealden Council and not with themselves. The early generating building was immediately included on their 1995 - 2002 Monument Protection Programme. However, apart from recommendation, English Heritage are relatively powerless should any local authority for any reason abandon their duty to protect the built environment. Hence, if a local authority decide to turn a blind eye to their responsibility to the historic environment, as frequently happens when other interests are at stake, valuable historic buildings may be lost or remain on the at risk register.
The Council's conservationist at the time was Paul Barker. He was caught between a rock and a hard place because his first duty was to the historic environment (if he was to remain a conservationist) and his second loyalty was to Wealden District Council. We have no doubt this must have presented the gentleman with a dilemma, where he may have been threatened by high level executives, planning and legal officers, not to reveal the truth of the matter - as per the Report from London University ASE.
In the superbly documented example we are proud to report on, consecutive serving conservation officers with the Wealden District Council, first ignored all clues to the origins of a historic building, then later when English Heritage's Dr Richard Morrice confirmed the historic find, declined to answer pointed questions as to the value of the historic find. In this example Wealden's so-called conservation expert knew the DOE Inspectors Raymond Dannreuther and Raymond Michael had not been fed the correct information by George White and Thomas Hoy in 1987 and Chezel Bird and Douglas Moss in 1997, but knowing and fearful of losing favour with his bosses, he refused to clarify the situation for a Councillor asking direct questions, presumably having been warned by his instructing legal department his future with Wealden rested on his cooperation to continue in denial.
English Heritage is now divided with Historic England taking over some of the statutory duties.
Herstmonceux Generating Works - INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY
English Heritage's Archaeology and Survey Department
The Archaeology and Survey Department is part of English Heritage's Conservation Department and provides archaeological expertise and advice to the organization. The Archaeology and Survey Department consists of three divisions:
Publications and Consultation Documents
Management of Archaeological Projects (MAP2) The standard reference document for the planning of archaeological projects is available here in an online version.
Archaeology and English Heritage: Agenda for the future The draft Research Agenda is now available in portable document format (pdf) to read on-line, print or download.
Monument Class Descriptions: The Monument Class Description (MCD) is a key tool, developed and used by the Monuments Protection Programme, in the evaluation of monuments. To date a group of circa 225 MCDs has been prepared and one of the aims of their dissemination on the WWW is to facilitate their expansion, and further enhancement.
MARS - Monuments At Risk Survey. The English Heritage strategy document produced in response to the MARS report and further information on the MARS project.
Frameworks For our Past. This report summarizes the results of a survey of research frameworks conducted by English Heritage during 1995. The Report is now available in portable document format (pdf) to read on-line, print or download. The reports aims were to identify previous work and current activity, to list the documents already available and to analyse these geographically and by content, and to record perceptions of relevant issues, associated problems, and possible solutions.
Hypertext Geophysical Survey Reports. Most surveys undertaken by the Archaeometry Branch of the AML since 1993 are now available online
Periodically Updated Resources
Archaeology Commissions - Project Summaries. 2001 project summaries now available. Background information and a summary of work carried out on a number of projects funded through the Archaeology Commissions programme. Links to new projects will be added to the list as WWW summaries become available.
Environmental Archaeological Bibliography. An online bibliographic database containing over 10,000 reports concerned with environmental archaeology. The reports cover all biological, pedological and geological work on material from archaeological sites.
The Geophysical Survey Database. An on line database of information about geophysical surveys undertaken for archaeological purposes in England. Presently contains around 2000 entries. For most surveys undertaken by the Archaeometry Branch of the AML since 1993, hypertext copies of the reports are available.
Ancient Monuments Laboratory Latest Available report summaries on line An on-line version of the most recent issue of our six monthly listing of AML reports. This lists all reports produced by laboratory staff in the period covered and incorporates summaries of each report. Publications by staff during the period are also listed.
Presentations of Archaeology Division Work
World Heritage Sites and GIS: Introducing the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the management of World Heritage Sites (WHS).
The Ancient Monuments Laboratory Bar Code Location Recording System A description of the object location system
Links to other EH pages and independent sites
The main English Heritage Website. Contains information about the entire corpus of English Heritage activities.
Links Page listing other sites of related interest.