Surveying the market Place in Ely

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Surveying the Market Place in Ely, Cambridgeshire as part of the early fabric in historic towns project. © Historic England, Patricia Payne

Understanding Historic Buildings and Landscapes

Buildings, places and landscapes often require careful study to fully appreciate their history and significance.  Historic England provides guidance intended to assist in undertaking this work.  The guidance outlines the different approaches available to the researcher, covering the range of recording techniques, and also identifies the levels and types of record that may be required in different cases.

Understanding Historic Buildings: A guide to good recording practice

This document provides clear, practical guidance on the ways in which the wealth of historical evidence embodied in buildings can be gathered and disseminated for the lasting benefit and enjoyment of all. Conventions for architectural survey drawing are presented and illustrated with case studies.

Understanding Historic Buildings

Published 24 May 2016

This guidance sets out the process of investigating and recording historic buildings for the purposes of historical understanding.

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Understanding the Archaeology of Landscapes: A guide to good recording practice

This guide describes and illustrates approaches to archaeological survey, drawing conventions and Levels of Survey for record creators and users.


Understanding the Archaeology of Landscapes

Published 31 October 2017

This document provides practical guidance on the recording, analysis and understanding of earthworks and other historic landscape features by non-intrusive archaeological survey and investigation.

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Drawing for Understanding

The techniques described in this guide have a long tradition of being used to aid understanding by observation and close contact with building fabric. They can be used by all involved in making records of buildings of all types and ages, but are particularly useful for vernacular buildings and architectural details which are crucial to the history of a building or site.

Drawing for Understanding

Published 31 July 2016

This guidance describes a method of recording historic buildings for the purpose of historical understanding using analytical site drawing and measuring by hand.

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Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessments

Historic Area Assessments help explain the character of a place and define its significance, providing a sound evidence base for the informed management of the historic environment. The approach is intended to assist historic environment specialists, planners, developers, local communities and others in evaluating the historic environment by understanding how the past is encapsulated in today’s landscape, explaining why it has assumed its present form and highlighting its more significant elements.

Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessments

Published 7 April 2017

This guidance explains how to undertake Historic Area Assessments (HAAs) in order to understand and explain the heritage interest of an area.

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