Scheduled Monuments

'Scheduling' is the process through which nationally important sites and monuments, mostly of archaeological interest, are placed on a list, or 'schedule' giving them legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Historic England (formerly English Heritage) takes the lead in identifying sites in England which should be placed on the schedule.

Monuments considered to be of national importance have been being identified by the government since the UK's first Act to protect the heritage, the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882. The current legislation supports a formal system of Scheduled Monument Consent for any work to a designated monument.

Scheduling is the only legal protection specifically for archaeological sites.

The selection criteria guides Historic England use for scheduled monument designation is available at

For more information see Scheduled Monuments: A Guide for Owners and Occupiers.

Also available is a series of guides to different types of archaeological assets at

There are some 70 Scheduled Monuments in South Somerset but the area is rich in evidence of past human activity and historical remains. Many specific sites are known and many areas, particularly in towns and villages are identified as being of High Archaeological Potential where investigations are required before development may take place. Much remains undiscovered however and the potential of the whole district is high so archaeological investigation of sites proposed for development is frequently required subject to the advice of the archaeologists of the Somerset Heritage Service.

See also advice on farming the historic landscape