Monuments advice and guidance

Historic Environment Division can provide advice on how best to care and look after monuments including those located on farmland.


A key role of Historic Environment Division is to supply advice to owners on how best to look after their monuments. A number of booklets are available and can  be  obtained free of charge by contacting us. We are also happy to visit your monument and offer on-site advice.

If you are the owner of a scheduled monument, Historic Environment Division can answer any queries you may have on how this affects you and your monument. The local Field Monument Warden will be able to visit and offer you advice on how best to manage your site, or advise on any works which might require Scheduled Monument Consent. Please contact us.

Our guide to scheduled historic monuments provides further advice on scheduled monuments in Northern Ireland.

Looking after monuments in farmland

The vast majority of historic monuments in Northern Ireland are located in privately-owned farmland. Historic Environment Division works closely with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and landowners to provide information and ensure that these sites are preserved for future generations.

Often just a little bit of basic care, such as restricting grazing or keeping scrub and trees under control, is all that is needed to keep a monument in good condition.

Protecting Historic Monuments on Farmland offers good advice for farmers and other owners of monuments in rural settings. If you participate in a DAERA agri-environment scheme you should be eligible for a payment towards looking after your monument, and your local Countryside Management Branch should be able to advise you on this.

Looking after masonry monuments

Masonry monuments, such as the ruins of castles or churches, can have a whole range of problems. Ivy growth is one of the most common, and if left unchecked will eventually lead to the collapse of a ruin. Dealing with vegetation on historic masonry monuments gives detailed guidance on how best to tackle this problem. Once vegetation has been cleared from a ruin it is often necessary to carry out some conservation works, which can be a complicated job.

We would strongly recommend contacting us for detailed advice well before starting any work, including vegetation clearance. This is particularly important if the ruin is a scheduled monument, as written Scheduled Monument Consent may well be required.

Detailed guidelines are available in the Conservation of Scheduled Masonry Monuments. A Management Agreement may be available to help with the costs of work to masonry monuments.

Historic Environment Division (HED) policy statement regarding drones

All aerial activity above our sites requires specific permission which can be granted by HED. For further information and an application form please contact or phone State Care Monuments Enquiries on 028 9082 3207. Our policy statement is available. 

Historic Environment Division (HED) policy statement regarding dogs on State Care Monuments

HED welcomes responsible dog owners exercising their dogs on State Care sites. Please read our policy statement for further information.

Structure and contacts

View the Historic Environment Division structure and contacts

Back to top