Archaeology, Heritage & Conservation

Historic Environment Record

The Central Bedfordshire and Luton Historic Environment Record (HER) is a key source of information for every aspect of Central Bedfordshire and Luton's historic environment, from the earliest human activity (125,000 years ago) through to the twentieth century. All Scheduled Monuments and Listed Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest are recorded together with ancient woodlands, historic parks or gardens and field systems. Buried remains and may demolished buildings are also included.

This material is available for use by all, including our officers, planners, developers, consultants, school children, students and the public. It is also the prime source for identifying Heritage Assets for inclusion in Heritage Statements as required to accompany planning application in accordance with Planning Policy Statement 5 (March 2010). A charge is normally applicable for the provision of data for commercial reasons.

The HER comprises a computer database with text and maps. The digital Record is supported by an archive of fully referenced written information. Around 35,000 photographs slides and digital images including aerial photographs are held together with historic and modern maps. HER staff always welcome offers of new information or potential new entries.

The digital HER is also accessible on the internet via the Heritage Gateway (link opens in new window) or can be consulted in person by prior appointment at Priory House, Chicksands from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively, written, telephone or email enquiries ( can be dealt with a small charge for photocopies or scanning. We charge for dealing with commercial requests.

For more detailed information please see the Access and Charging policy (PDF).

On request talks concerning archaeology or historic landscape topics in the Central Bedfordshire area can be provided to local societies, community groups or other organisations. Guided walks in the Central Bedfordshire landscape can also be arranged. A small charge is made to cover costs.

Advice is available to landowners, consultants and planners on the historic interest of hedgerows, both in respect of the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 where hedgerow removal is being considered and also for general planning purposes.

A series of archaeological displays are available free of charge for use by schools and for placing in public locations. The displays cover the Prehistoric (Mesolithic to Iron Age), Roman, Medieval and Post Medieval/Industrial periods.

For more information please contact

Related services

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service (link opens in new window) collect and preserve original historic and modern written evidence, maps and plans for Bedfordshire, including Luton.

Bedfordshire Heritage Library (link opens in new window) within Bedford Central Library holds a variety of historic published and printed sources for Bedfordshire

The Higgins Bedford (link opens in new window) (formerly Bedford Museum) and Luton Culture (link opens in new window) deal with Bedfordshire's archaeology and social history through their collections and public displays.