Guide to cross compliance in England: 2016

GAEC 7e: Ancient Monuments

Ancient Monuments are nationally important sites that have been given legal protection by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport due to their archaeological or historic interest.

Check the National Heritage List to see if you have a listed ‘scheduled monument’. Or, you can check the Historic Environment Record held by your local authority.

What you must do

You must not:

  • without prior written scheduled monument consent from the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, you must not carry out, cause or allow to be carried out works that:
    • demolish, destroy or damage a Scheduled Monument
    • remove, repair, alter or add to a Scheduled Monument or any part of it
    • involve flooding or tipping operations on land in, on or under a Scheduled Monument.

You may not have broken these rules if one of the following applies:

  • you took all reasonable precautions, and exercised all due diligence, to avoid or prevent any damage to the monument (this only applies to the first bullet above)
  • you can prove you did not know and had no reason to believe that the monument was in the area affected by the work or that it was a Scheduled Monument (this only applies to the first and third bullets above)
  • the works were urgently necessary in the interests of health or safety and that written notice for the reason for the works was given to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as soon as reasonably practicable (feasible).
  • you are satisfied that you have consent under one of the categories in the Ancient Monuments (Class Consent) Order 1994.

You must:

  • comply with the conditions attached to any consent granted by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

More information

Department for Culture Media and Sport have also published more guidance online about ‘Scheduled monuments’.


Historic England (formerly known as English Heritage): 0370 333 1181