The Historic Environment Record

The Longstone, Mottistone

Between the 1960s and 1980s, it was realised nationally that many archaeological sites were being lost because of development and other pressures.  All counties were encouraged to develop their own Sites and Monuments Record (SMR).  Over the years, the records gradually became more complex and their scope has also become much wider.  As a consequence, they have now been re-named Historic Environment Records (HER). 

The Isle of Wight HER comprises a computerised database linked to a Geographic Information System (GIS), complemented by documentary archives and historic maps as well as extensive collections of aerial photographs and an archaeological library.

The HER is updated continuously as fieldwork is undertaken and as new information comes to hand.  It currently contains information on almost 15,000 sites, including archaeological monuments and findspots, historic buildings, coastal, maritime, military and industrial sites, parks and gardens, and landscape features. The record also contains details of events such as excavations, geophysical surveys and other projects.

Information held in the HER and its archives may be consulted by appointment by developers, researchers, students and other interested members of the general public.  An HER search forms the minimum requirement in the production of a Heritage Statement accompanying a planning application.  

For more information on Heritage Statements.  


A charge may be levied against organisations requiring information for commercial gain. Charges may also be made for photocopying, etc.  To view our HER Access and Charging policies . (PDF, 141KB, 2 pages).

Application process

  • Enquirers need to complete an HER user’s declaration form prior to obtaining access to the record. To view/ download the HER user’s declaration form . (PDF, 61KB, 2 pages) 
  • The completed declaration form should be returned to the address found in the contact tab above.


Further information

  • The Isle of Wight Council reserves the right to refuse access to information held on the Historic Environment Record if there is likely to be a threat to the security and preservation of the archaeological resource. 
  • Confidential information will not be disclosed.