A History of the National Heritage Collection: Volume Eight: 1970-1983

Author(s): Nick Chapple

This is Volume Eight in a series of eight reports, which describe the formation of the national collection of ancient monuments and historic buildings from 1882 to 1983 in the context of legislation and other available means of protecting heritage. The report covers the history of the collection from the creation of the Department of the Environment to the transfer of responsibility to the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, better known as English Heritage. The 1970s was a decade in which heritage assumed greater popularity than ever before and this was reflected in another period of rapid expansion in the national collection. By the early 1980s the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act, 1979, had changed the context in which decisions about the collection were made by offering an increased level of protection for all scheduled sites. This combined with a series of difficult and expensive cases, a shortfall in the Department’s resources and a new political climate to bring the expansionary phase of the national collection’s history to an end. The new Conservative administration proposed the transfer of the collection to a new agency, with the result that it was put at arm’s length from government for the first time.

Report Number:
Research Report


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