Discovering and Understanding Our Heritage

Much of England’s heritage still remains to be discovered. Historic England is prioritizing survey work where our knowledge is weakest or the threat of loss is highest. A wide range of methods are employed to rapidly identify and understand what is out there, its significance, and what condition it is in.

Key priorities for research have been identified in the following areas:

  • Colour photograph showing a stone cave wall lit at a shallow angle from below to produce shadows from the incised lines

    Early Prehistory

    These pages explain Historic England's work on early prehistory through recent and current projects.

  • Colour aerial photograph showing a pattern of darker green lines on a background of a yellow in a field under crop


    We identify archaeological sites and landscapes using aerial photography, lidar, geophysics, earthwork analysis and excavation.

  • Image of colourful fishing boats anchored at Newlyn harbour, Cornwall.

    Coastal, Marine and Maritime

    An introduction to the richness of England’s coastal and maritime heritage and the role of Historic England in understanding and safeguarding it.

  • An architectural detail of masonry within a large church

    Faith and Commemoration

    This section covers Historic England current and planned research into faith buildings and commemoration of the dead at cemeteries.

  • View along a canal in Birmingham, with canal boat and industrial buildings.

    Industrial heritage research

    An overview of our ongoing research into industrial heritage and infrastructure

  • Military Heritage

    This page provides information on Historic England's current military heritage projects

  • Rural Heritage

    We explain our techniques of investigation, which explore how people have exploited and used the landscape, resulting in the heritage we see today.

  • A panoramic view of Coventry showing tower blocks, car parks and office buildings.

    Urban and Public Realm

    Information on Historic England’s recent Urban and Public realm projects.