The Lake District National Park is one of 14 National Parks in the United Kingdom. Designated in 1951, it is the largest National Park in England covering 2,292 square kilometres in the county of Cumbria. The rich archaeology, distinct settlement character and celebrated social and cultural roots have all been identified as special qualities of the Lake District National Park. These special qualities are afforded the highest protection. Within the Lake District National Park there are 275 Scheduled Monuments, 1,741 List Entries covering around 2,000 listed buildings and structures, 21 Conservation Areas, nine Registered Parks and Gardens and part of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.
The Lake District Historic Environment Record (HER), maintained by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA), is the record of the historic environment of the Lake District National Park and is the principle record for the area. It originally formed part of the Cumbria County Council Sites and Monuments Record. Transfer of the records to the LDNPA took place in 1993 with the appointment of the first Archaeologist at the LDNPA.
The Lake District HER was formally adopted by the LDNPA in 2004. It currently holds information on 7,000 sites of archaeological and historical significance on a computer and map based system, supported by archival material. The earliest site on the Record dates from the Lower Palaeolithic (before 8,000 BC) and the latest from the twentieth century, for example Greenside Lead Mine, where production ceased in 1962. A whole range of historic environment information such as buildings (listed and unlisted), chance finds, landscape features (such as dry stone walls and sheepfolds) and environmental data is incorporated into the database. The data is primarily used for land management and planning purposes but the LDNPA recognises that it has many other uses including education and research.
In order to make the Historic Environment Record more accessible to a wider audience, the information from the HER was sent to the Archaeological Data Service for the information to be posted onto the web. This was made possible through a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to implement the Access to Archaeology Project. The Project’s aims are to interpret the historic environment through a variety of media including: leaflets; a touring exhibition; education resources; information on the LDNPA website; an outreach strategy; and an online version of the Lake District HER.
Here is a guide to how the HER data is displayed by ArchSearch.
All the information from the Lake District HER available through ADS is provided on the understanding that it is solely for private study or research, individual use or private research provided that the source is acknowledged. It must not be copied or otherwise reproduced in the public domain without the express permission of the copyright holder(s). The Lake District HER is produced by and is copyright of the Lake District National Park Authority, but the copyright to many of the sources used or held by the HER remains with the individual originators.
We constantly endeavour to make the Lake District HER as accurate and complete as we can but as with any record, the HER can never be definitive and will always have errors and omissions. Furthermore, it will always reflect the extent and nature of the research, site management, survey and excavation work which has been carried out. If, as you use this data, you notice any mistakes, or if you have any information which you think we should have included, but haven’t, please let us know (at the address below). We will try incorporate your contribution as soon as we can. Inclusion on the HER, whilst not a protection in itself, does mean that an archaeological site or historic building can be taken into account by planners, developers and site managers. If we don’t know about a site, then, sadly, it is less likely to be protected against damage.
Please note that the inclusion of a site in the HER does not necessarily mean that there is a right of access to visit it. A large number of the sites recorded are in private ownership, with no public right of access. If you wish to visit a site on privately owned land you must first obtain permission from the landowner or tenant. However, there are numerous sites that are either open to the public at certain times or situated on access land. A lot of these are featured on the LDNPA’s website www.lake-district.gov.uk.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CRoW) permits access on foot to many upland areas in the Lake District National Park (see www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk for up-to-date information on Open Access areas). Many of the sites in the Lake District National Park are Scheduled Monuments and it is a criminal offence to cause any damage to them. Others are legally protected from damage by designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest or through being covered by Environmental Stewardship agreements.
Lake District National Park HER
Lake District National Park Authority
telephone: 44 (0)1539 724555
web site: http://www.lake-district.gov.uk/