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Historic Environment Records

Historic Environment Records

Historic Environment Records (HER) are the definitive database of the heritage of an area.

They are kept by the archaeologist employed by the County Council or by the District/Borough Council where there is an archaeologically important city (usually Roman) such as Winchester and Chichester.

It is not just archaeological information in the HER but also the listed buildings, registered parks and gardens, battlefields and shipwrecks and many sites that are not officially listed or registered. Investigation reports and studies are also available from the HERs.

HERs are a great source of information although some of it may need interpreting to tell the story of a place. They are key resources to understand the potential impact of planning applications, to develop a Neighbourhood Plan or to inform a farm or forestry management plan. They are also very useful for ‘A’ level study and local history and other research.

The South Downs National Park Authority does not have its own HER as there are 5 already in place, each of which has expert staff who understand their part of the National Park and its surroundings. Therefore you need to go the HER for your area – the easiest way to know which one is by the District/ Borough Council you pay tax or rates to.

Enquiries that are commercial in nature (mainly planning and land management related) are likely to be charged for – but many other enquiries will be free. Look at the web pages for your local HER to check and ask their advice if you are not sure.

Local Authority Area Your HER Link
Winchester City Winchester City Winchester City – HER
East Hampshire Hampshire County Hampshire County HER
Chichester Chichester District Chichester District HER
Arun, Worthing, Horsham, Adur, Mid-Sussex West Sussex County West Sussex County HER
Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Wealden, Eastbourne East Sussex County East Sussex HER


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."