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Archaeology and scheduled monuments

Government policy is to protect and preserve archaeological sites and monuments, and their settings in their original place, where possible.

Scheduled monuments help to make Scotland a more interesting and better place. Our historic environment is part of our national identity and helps us to understand our past.

It is against the law to remove or extract any items from a scheduled monument.

If you find an item of archaeological, historical or cultural significance (portable antiquities) anywhere in Scotland, you must report the item to the Treasure Trove Unit.

Under Scottish law, all such objects are subject to claim by the Crown through the Treasure Trove system.

Archaeology and planning

When determining planning applications which may affect archaeological features we balance the benefits of development with the importance of managing archaeological resources as per Scottish Government Guidance.

Development proposals in archaeologically sensitive areas may be subject to a number of conditions to ensure that archaeological resources are property investigated, recorded and preserved. 

We may impose conditions for an archaeological investigation relating to the importance of the potential archaeological resource.

Where archaeological issues may require to be considered, they are assessed under the Natural Built Environmental (NBE) policies within the North Lanarkshire Local Plan 2012.

Scheduled monuments

A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance that Scottish Ministers have given legal protection.  The aim of the schedule is to preserve sites and monuments as far as possible in the form in which they have come down to us today.

Scheduled Monument Consent is required for various works which would impact these sites.  It is a criminal offence to carry out most works that would affect a scheduled monument without consent. You will also require a special consent to use a metal detector within a scheduled monument.

You can view Scheduled Monuments on Pastmap.

Historic Environment Scotland plays a key role in designating and protecting archaeological sites and administering Scheduled Monument Consent.

They also maintain a schedule (a list) of monuments of national importance. Scheduling is the process of adding monuments to this list. 

Scheduling began in 1882, when the first Ancient Monuments Act was passed, and is an ongoing process. Historic Environment Scotland assesses and reassesses monuments as our knowledge and understanding of what survives and its importance changes.

Page last updated:
21 Dec 2023

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