Chysauster Iron Age village, Cornwall
Chysauster Iron Age village, Cornwall. Scheduled monument. NHLE List Entry Number: 1006726. © Historic England J910198
Chysauster Iron Age village, Cornwall. Scheduled monument. NHLE List Entry Number: 1006726. © Historic England J910198

The National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) to Historic Environment Record (HER) Transfer

In line with HIAS Principle 1: Local Authority HERs should be the first point of call for and primary trusted source of investigative research data and knowledge, we encourage all local authority HERs to transfer records covering their area of responsibility that were created as national records by Historic England and its predecessors into their HER.

The project to transfer the national record to local authority Historic Environment Records (HERs) started in April 2019 and aims to finish in 2026. The project will see the responsibilities for maintaining, securing and providing access to the national dataset transferred to local authorities, thereby ending the long-standing duplication of effort between national and local bodies and providing clarity for future researchers.

HERs are invited to submit proposals to take part in the project and should refer to the Open Call for Proposals in preparing their bid.

Further information and access to the transfer website tool can be found at the dedicated data transfer website.

Several HERs have already completed their transfer and below are two reports where HERs outline the benefits as a result of the transfer for their HERs.

City of York HER, Transfer completed 2020

The City of York HER completed the transfer of data from the NRHE in July 2020. The NRHE to HER project saw 4,568 (2,120 monuments and 2448 events) records amended or added to the HER.

The project resulted in the enhancement of listed building records, the addition of many previously unrecorded features and has significantly enhanced the number of events within the City of York HER. In particular, the monument element was enhanced by the inclusion of many WWII structures/features which were not included on the HER. This was further enhanced by the addition of the Pillbox Study Group data. The enhanced monument dataset has been particularly useful as there is an ongoing city wide WWII cultural heritage project which the HER has contributed towards.

The addition and amendment of the event data was a generally useful exercise specifically as it revealed some issues with the existing data which were then addressed/cleaned. In addition, there were many historic events on the NRHE which were either missing from the HER completely or had scant information. The NRHE data gave many of these entries a boost. Off the back of the event data entry the HER has so far acquired about 150 reports from contractors following the addition of event data from the NRHE. There are many more still to be received – this is an ongoing enhancement program.

Bedford Borough HER, Transfer completed 2019

Over the course of 2019, we completed the transfer of the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) data to Bedford Borough’s Council’s Historic Environment Record (HER) as part of Historic England’s Heritage Information Access Strategy (HIAS).

This project helpfully followed on almost immediately from the integration of Phases One and Two of Historic England’s National Mapping Programme (NMP) for the borough, into the HER, and was then able to be carried out in parallel with the data entry for the third and final phase of the NMP. Running the two projects together, brought significant benefits including being able to locate sites more easily, the ability to lightly edit pre-existing data, and streamlining the work process in the Phase 3 area. The addition of many new sites, buildings and monuments or events to the HER, as well as substantial amounts of previously unrecorded information for existing records was very timely.

This new data has already helped to inform the baseline HER enquiries for a number of assessments ahead of upcoming large housing and transport infrastructure projects including the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet Scheme, East-West Rail Central Section (EWR-CS) and the Oxford-Cambridge Development Arc. The historic environment study area for the EWR-CS corridor includes 275 new records created by the NRHE to HER project and 1,576 records where significant information has been added. Similarly, for the Oxford-Cambridge Development Arc, 462 records were created and 2,722 records modified in line with the new information.

The data created by the NRHE to HER project has already and will continue to greatly assist the team in their various roles in managing change to the Borough’s historic environment.

Marion Page

HIAS Communication and Engagement Manager

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