The Somerset Historic Environment Record (which incorporates the Somerset Sites and Monuments Record) is maintained by Somerset County Council and covers the post-1974 county of Somerset. Separate records are maintained by North Somerset Council, and Bath and North East Somerset Council for the former northern areas of the historic county.
Somerset is one of the most varied counties in England with landscapes varying from the tidal mudflats of the Severn Estuary, through the peat and clay wetlands to the limestone plateau of Mendip. In the south are rolling hills stretching into Dorset and to the west the upland moors of Exmoor. The historic environment reflects this diversity with remains ranging in date from some of the earliest signs of human occupation to Cold War military sites abandoned in the last few years.
The Somerset Historic Environment Record aims to record all aspects of the County's rich heritage: archaeological sites, archaeological events (excavations, surveys etc), historic landscapes and Listed Buildings. The records were originally compiled for planning purposes but have always been consulted by researchers, students and those with an interest in their local environment. Putting all of this information on the web, with the help of the Heritage Lottery fund has widened this access further.
The information here is only part of the fully searchable on-line database available at www.somerset.gov.uk/heritage This other information such as Scheduled Monuments, Listed Buildings and Historic Landscape Characterisation. There are also large-scale Ordnance maps showing the locations of the entries. Other areas of the website contain general information on the archaeology of Somerset. There is also further information available in the HER office, principally reports of excavations generated through the planning process and some aerial photographs. You are welcome to visit, but please make an appointment as we have limited space. Many of the other sources mentioned in the HER can be easily consulted in the Somerset Studies Library in Taunton.
Somerset County Council provides this information with the aim of raising awareness of the historic environment and thus encouraging its protection. We welcome information such as new sites, changes in the condition of sites, notices of mistakes etc - you can contact us through the website. We would also ask that you do not disturb any of the sites or buildings recorded and respect the rights and privacy of the owners.
We have started to add information to the record to show which sites are accessible to the public, either because they are in a public space or by a right of way, or because they are specifically open by bodies such as the National Trust or English Heritage.
Somerset County Council holds the copyright of the compiled database information but the sources used to create the record remain the copyright of the original writers. You are free to use this information for private study or research, provided that the source is acknowledged. There are more detailed conditions, including those for the Ordnance Survey maps on the Somerset Historic Environment Record website.
You can email us via the website http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/contact.htm or direct to email@example.com
You can write:
Somerset Historic Environment Record
Somerset County Council
Phone: +44 (0)1823 355426
Fax: +44 (0)1823 356899