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Historic Environment Record

What is the Historic Environment Record?

CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record (HER) is a database and archive of information about sites and projects of archaeological and historical interest within the Clwyd-Powys area. We have records of archaeological sites from all periods, ranging from the earliest known human habitation in Wales, through to relatively modern features such as World War Two military structures. We hold information about Listed Buildings and structures, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, individual find spots, and other archaeological features, from well-known and much visited sites to less obvious landscape features such as field banks and cultivation marks.

Map of Wales

Right: The area covered by CPAT's Historic Environment Record is shaded green on this map of Wales

The area covered by the HER is rich in history and archaeology. Our database holds records of over 100,000 sites and projects, but is by no means complete. Fieldwork and research regularly bring to light previously undiscovered sites, as well as new information about the known archaeological resource. A full-time HER officer is employed to attempt to keep the records as up-to-date as possible. The Historic Environment Record is supported by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) and Cadw, and has been adopted by each of our local authorities as their County Sites and Monuments Record.

Part of the HER consists of a computerised database of sites. For each site, key information is recorded, such as its name, location, site type, period and legal status. A brief description of the remains is also entered, and we maintain a list of bibliographic sources and finds relating to each site. Partnerships with local authorities allow the HER to use digital Ordnance Survey data for most of the Clwyd-Powys area, and we can therefore use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to view and analyse the records against a digital map base. We record other information in the GIS, such as the boundaries of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and extents and details of excavations and surveys.

It is now possible to access the Historic Environment Records (HERs) of Wales online from the comfort of your own home! Archwilio is the online access system to the Historic Environment Records of Wales. It has been developed through a partnership of the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts to provide wider public access to this valuable resource. Details of well- and lesser-known sites can be found here, in addition to records generated by archaeological projects. If you are interested in researching your local area, or finding out more about a particular historical period, this is a good place to start. WARNING! Information obtained from Archwilio is intended for use for information and research purposes only and may not be used for development control purposes or as part of a commercial project. Enquiries of this nature should be addressed directly to the Historic Environment Record Officer at CPAT by completing our HER enquiry form (Word format) and emailing it to CPAT HER enquiries or by telephone or letter, details can be found here.

Alongside the computerised HER we hold substantial quantities of paper archives, maps and other supporting information. Particularly worthy of mention is our large collection of oblique aerial photographs which have been taken of archaeological remains and surrounding landscape over the last 30 years.

What is its function?

The Historic Environment Record is a valuable source of information for anyone interested in the archaeology and history of north-east and mid Wales, be they a local person, a visitor to the area, or a student, and whatever their level of interest. The HER has great potential as a source of raw data for research and analysis. It also plays a very important role in assisting with the management and presentation of the historic landscape and is used on a day-to-day basis by individuals, organisations and local authorities to assess the archaeological implications of proposed developments in the area.


Right: Castell Tinboeth, Powys - A 13th-century castle within the ramparts of an Iron Age hillfort. © CPAT 88-C-87

How we can help you

While we hope that you will be able to find all the information that you want about the archaeology of the Clwyd-Powys area via Archwilio, we welcome follow-up enquiries if it doesn't quite answer all your questions. Please download and complete our HER enquiry form (Word format) and email it to CPAT HER enquiries or contact us by telephone or letter and explain what it is you would like information about. Details can be found here. If you are enquiring about a specific site or area, it is helpful if you provide a National Grid Reference. We can supply you with relevant further information if we have any, and we will be able to assess whether it is worth your while coming to visit us to look at reports, aerial photographs and other paper records. Copies of any of our aerial photographs can be ordered if required.

Information from the Historic Environment Record will normally be provided free of charge (in line with the Welsh Archaeological Trusts' Access and Charging policy), though as a registered charity, any contribution you may wish to make towards the costs of our work would be gratefully received.


How you can help us

We strive to keep the Historic Environment Record as up-to-date, complete and accurate as possible, but in such an extensive area with such a large number of sites, this is no easy task. We therefore encourage everyone to help us achieve this. If we have sent data to you and you find that the information is inaccurate, please let us know. If you are carrying out research into any aspect of archaeology in this area, we would be grateful if you could let us see your results so that we can amend our records accordingly. We are also interested to find out about new discoveries within the area. If you come across an artefact or a site that you think we may not already know of, we would love to hear from you.

Left: An orthostatic stone bank/field boundary at Rhayader, Powys. © CPAT CS90-13-23

Public Access & Search Facilities - Contact details, opening times and facilities for visitors to the HER.

HER enquiry form - Request information from CPAT's Historic Environment Record.

Guidelines for Access and Charging - The Welsh Archaeological Trusts' Regional Historic Environment Records Guidelines for Access and Charging.

Cost Recovery - Fees to cover the cost of servicing enquiries.

Reproduction Rights - Explanation of rights for reproducing CPAT copyright images elsewhere.

To read these PDF files you will need a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can download the most recent version of this software by clicking on the icon on the right.

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