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Historic Environment Record

Accredited Archive ServiceIfA Registered Organisation

Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service

Historic Environment Record

What is the Historic Environment Record?

The Historic Environment Record (HER) is the county of Worcestershire's primary source for archaeological and historic environment information. We hold approximately 26,000 records on all aspects of Worcestershire's archaeology and historic environment, including archaeological sites, historic buildings, monuments and landscape features. The HER can help you to research:

  • Your area, whether that be a village, a particular building or a parish.
  • A particular period of interest, including Roman, medieval, World War II.
  • Industries such as lime kilns, carpet factories, needle manufacturing.
  • Artefact types such as coins, pottery, plant and animal remains

There is a wealth of information available, whether you are a member of the public, a student, or a professional archaeologist.

Getting started

The best starting place is to book an appointment with an HER member of staff. We will then be able to fully understand your research question(s) and can assist you by providing an HER report of all the records that you may be interested in, along with location and historical mapping.

If you want to get your search started straight away then parts of the HER database are available to search online through the Link to external website Heritage gateway. Please note that a full search of the records can only be conducted in branch. The full database must be consulted for all commercial work. 

For more information, to begin a search or to book an appointment, please contact us.

Further details and charges

For more details of the information we provide as part of an HER search, along with our current charges, please see our HER Search Guidance document (PDF 58 KB).

Searches requested for academic or private research are free. However, there is a charge for commercial enquiries.  We provide information in both paper and digital formats.  We also have a number of existing projects detailed online, which may help you in your own research; along with a number of resources and publications that can be used by themselves or in conjunction with the results of an HER search.

Check our guide to see how you can use these resources together.

Further resources available online

We have a number of online resources that may help you to extend your research a bit further:

  • Online Archaeology Library
    An online library containing over 1500 archaeological reports that you can download and read.
  • Tithe and Inclosure Maps Website
    Online historic mapping of the county in the early 19th century.
  • Link to external website Worcestershire Online Ceramics Database
    professional tool that allows the user to identify ceramics from archaeological excavations
  • Historic Towns Project
    Descriptions of the thirteen historic towns in the county, based on a survey carried out by the Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeological Service.
  • Worcestershire in the Past
    A series of downloadable PDFs describing specific periods in Worcestershire's past, such as the English Civil War and the Defence of Worcestershire in the Second World War.

Now I have a HER report, what more can I do?

There are several resources you can make use of, both within The Hive and online at home:

  • HER Sources and Aerial Photographs – these are situated in the Archaeology public office in the filing cabinets and on the shelves. The sources are filed under their SWR number, which is the unique number given to every document referenced in the HER. You can find a document's SWR number in the bibliographic section of the HER report provided.
  • Tithe, Inclosure and Estate Maps – these are situated in the two vertical map cabinets in the Archaeology public office. The maps are filed alphabetically by parish/estate name. The majority of the maps are hand transcriptions copied at a scale of 1:10000.
  • Archaeology Reference Library – this is situated just outside the Archaeology office on level 2 at The Hive. There is a wide range of books, covering many aspects of local, national and international archaeology.
  • Online Archaeology Library (OAL) - Here you will find access to archaeological reports that are the result of the planning process (grey literature) and will give details of excavations, fieldwalking, building recording and much more archaeological work. You can search for reports using the SWR numbers mentioned above; also you may choose to use the WSM number, which is the site specific number that you will find in the HER report. The search engine on the site also allows for keyword searches on title and authors.
  • Sources Module – This is similar to the OAL above, however it is only accessible on the public computers in The Hive. We will be continually adding to the catalogue of available documents. We are planning to include Defence of Britain field report forms, newspaper cuttings, archaeological newsletters, aerial photographs and much, much more.
  • Heritage Gateway – English Heritage have created an online portal so that users can search many HERs (and other national datasets) all at once. This is a particularly useful tool for having an initial look at what the HER may hold. The web address is www.heritagegateway.org.uk. Please see our guide to using the Heritage Gateway for further details.

I have completed my research/project, are you interested?

Yes! One of the main ways the HER is updated and maintained is by people informing us of their discoveries, memories or points of interest. The minimum information that we would usually require is a location (a cross on a map is adequate); some information regarding what the project was or how the discovery was made and any photographs or reports available that we can add as references.

By letting us know what you have found we can enhance our database to help inform future enquirers and therefore continue to protect the County's historic environment.

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

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This page was last reviewed 14 June 2013 at 16:10.
The page is next due for review 11 December 2014.