Section 42 licences for surveys on Scheduled Monuments

A monument which has been scheduled is protected against ground disturbance or unlicensed metal detecting. A licence is required to carry out geophysical surveys and use a metal detector over a scheduled monument or other protected place.

Historic England are responsible for administering the application process and issuing licences under Section 42 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979

Such a licence permits metal detecting or a geophysical survey on a site which has legal protection.

It is against the law to use a metal detector or remove an object found at a monument without a licence from Historic England.

If you are interested in applying for a licence, please read the Information for Applicants note below. This explains what information you will need to include in your application, and sets out the reporting, archiving and signposting conditions and requirements.

Applications are handled by our local offices and licences are issued by the relevant Inspector of Ancient Monuments. Please contact your nearest local office if you are thinking of making an application.

It is a condition of the licence that reports are provided within an agreed timescale to the Inspector who issued the licence, the relevant local Historic Environment Record (HER), and in the case of licences for geophysical survey Historic England's Geophysics Team Manager.

Surveyors must also complete and submit an entry signposting their investigation using the online OASIS Data Collection form.

You may wish to look at the following publications prior to submitting your application and conducting your survey:  

To find out more about licences for geophysical survey, see our Geophysical Survey Advice page.

You can also find out about applications for Scheduled Monument Consent.

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