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What Can Be Scheduled?

Here you can find out what we mean by 'monuments' as well as what monuments can be scheduled and added to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) for protection.

Grimspound, Dartmoor. Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement enclosure. Scheduled Monument.
Grimspound, Dartmoor. Prehistoric stone hut circle settlement enclosure. Scheduled Monument. NHLE List Entry: 1014667

Which sites are monuments?

Scheduled monuments are not always ancient, or visible above ground. There are over 200 categories of monuments on the schedule, and they range from prehistoric standing stones and burial mounds, through to the many types of medieval site - castles, monasteries, abandoned farmsteads and villages - to the more recent results of human activity, such as collieries.

Scheduling is applied only to sites of national importance, and even then only if it is the best means of protection (see 'Alternatives to Scheduling' below). Only deliberately created structures, features and remains can be scheduled.

Scheduling is reserved for carefully selected sites, which create a representative sample of sites from different epochs. 

Grimes Graves, Norfolk
Grimes Graves, Norfolk. Prehistoric flint mines. Scheduled Monument. NHLE List Entry: 1003619.

Alternatives to scheduling

Even nationally important sites are scheduled only if this is the best means of protecting them. Our approach is set out in our Selection Guides. Sometimes, for example in town and city centres, the most practical way to protect sites - from building development and road schemes - is to use the system of local authority control over planning applications. The planners can make sure that development proposals take archaeology fully into account.

Buildings and standing structures of historic interest are also generally best protected by listing. Our aim is to set the most appropriate form of protection in place for the asset.

Roman Lighthouse and Saxon Church within Dover Castle.
Roman Lighthouse and Saxon Church within Dover Castle, Kent. Scheduled Monument. NHLE List Entry: 1019075.

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