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Most scheduled ancient monuments are earthworks or unoccupied structures, often in a ruinous or semi-ruinous condition. 'Scheduling' is the process through which the Government, with advice from English Heritage, gives legal protection to nationally important sites and monuments by adding them to a list or 'Schedule', as laid down in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act of 1979. A monument that has been scheduled is protected against disturbance because it is an offence to carry out works without the authority of the Secretary of State accorded through Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC). The definition of works is very broad. The SMC application procedure allows proper thought to be given by all concerned to the consequences of altering a monument. The Secretary of State will not usually consent to work that might damage a scheduled site, but scheduling does not necessarily mean that a monument will be preserved exactly as it is for all time.
Ownership of Scheduled Monuments
Most scheduled monuments are privately owned or occupied. Some may be open for public visits, on publicly owned land, or visible from public footpaths, but scheduling does not create any new right of access, and there is no general right for the public to inspect them.
Important inhabited buildings, or structures that are in use for some purpose, are usually protected by listing as buildings of special architectural or historic interest under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, instead of scheduling. Some structures may be both scheduled and listed as the criteria for protection under the two systems overlap.
Monuments Protection Programme
English Heritage is the Government's adviser in England on the protection and management of the historic environment. The organisation offers specialist advice to landowners and occupiers, and to local authorities and other conservation groups. It also aims to foster public understanding and awareness of the heritage, thereby helping to protect it for future generations to enjoy. An important means of achieving these tasks is through the work of the Monuments Protection Programme (MPP). The MPP was established in 1986 to carry out a review of the country's archaeological heritage in order to identify nationally important surviving monuments and sites, evaluating them against criteria such as date, condition, and group value. It has created a stronger understanding of the archaeological resource and has led to a thorough modernisation and expansion of the Schedule that is still underway. For more information regarding Scheduled Monuments and the Monuments Protection Programme please visit the English Heritage website.
The Ancient Monuments Society is especially concerned with the preservation of redundant churches but also man-made structures of architectural or historical interest of any date, including houses, barns, almshouses, dovecotes, mills and chapels. http://www.ancientmonumentssociety.org.uk/
Information on how to apply for Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent can be found on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport website.
Download a list of Scheduled Ancient Monuments in North Norfolk (PDF format, 13.5 KB)
For more information on the Scheduled Monuments in North Norfolk please contact North Norfolk District Council's Conservation and Design Section: Tel: (01263) 516131/516138/516165 or Fax: (01263) 514802 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org