The modern landscape of Northern Ireland contains evidence of over 9,000 years of human activity surviving as archaeological sites and monuments, industrial and defence heritage sites, historic parks and gardens, archaeological objects and maritime remains around our coastline. These range from tombs, castles, churches, mill complexes, demesnes, WW2 pillboxes and settlements to the more personal objects associated with people’s day to day lives in the past.
Our historic environment provides authentic and attractive places which increase our pride, character and identity, lead to improved wellbeing and community engagement, and to prosperity through tourism, investment, skills, regeneration and creativity. It is a precious and finite resource available to present generations, and with appropriate management, to future generations.
Over 16,000 historic monuments have been identified in Northern Ireland with new additions being discovered and recorded on a regular basis. This includes 190 that are under the ownership or guardianship of the Department and are known as State Care Monuments, and over 1,900 that are scheduled for protection under the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995.
Information on each site can be accessed on the Northern Ireland Sites and Monuments Record (SMR). This database contains information on all of Northern Ireland’s sites and monuments including scanned information from our archives.
Further hard copy information may be available from the Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland (HERoNI), previously the National Monuments and Buildings Record (Northern Ireland).