A number of thematic surveys have been carried out by DfC Historic Environment. Hard copies of the results can be found in HERoNI by appointment.

Thatch Survey

All of Northern Ireland's thatched buildings have been surveyed in detail. The results of the survey show that despite a massive loss of traditional roofs across the region since the 1950s the surviving buildings display a wide range of the features which were once common across the area. It highlights the importance of protecting those remaining thatched buildings who architectural merits may not always be fully appreciated, but which played a significant part in forming the character of Northern Ireland. 

Pump Survey

The surviving historic pumps of Northern Ireland have been researched and recorded in detail. As a result, a number of types of pump were identified and the best examples of each protected. 

Belfast Roof Truss Survey

Belfast roof trusses are a form of roof support which was developed to utilise short lengths of timber. The trusses with their characteristic gently curved top member were often used for industrial buildings and there has been a dramatic loss of these once common features over recent years. With the help of the Joint Committee for Industrial Heritage, a thematic survey was carried out which identified all known examples. The best were surveyed in detail and a number listed as a result. 

Mourne water scheme

The completion of Mourne Water Scheme was a key industrial project for the new region of Northern Ireland in the 1920s. Its completion was an engineering triumph and a source of much pride. All of the features associated with the scheme from great dams to small pumping stations have been considered as part of a comprehensive survey and record. Many of the structures have been listed as a result. 

Post war listings

In the 1970s, it was determined that only the most outstanding works of architecture after 1940 are deemed sufficiently special for protection by listing. From this period in the 1940s building development significantly increased and international influences such as the Modern Movement became increasingly important. A thematic survey first looked at this period in 1995 and have used this research and knowledge to inform subsequent decisions on the listing of more recent buildings. 

Some buildings have not yet been thematically surveyed across the whole of Northern Ireland. In some cases DfC has agreed a joint policy with owners and/or custodians of these structures, for their retention, as they may be of special architectural or historic interest. 

Royal Mail Post Boxes  

Department for Communities Historic Environment Division (DfC HED) and Royal Mail have decided to agree a joint policy for the retention and conservation of post boxes.


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