About the Historic Environment Record

Old Carlisle Roman Fort near Wigton

What is it?

The Historic Environment Record (HER) is a series of linked computer databases that hold information on known archaeological sites, finds, landscapes, buildings and other aspects of the historic environment. In addition, it contains information on past research and investigations. There are currently over 17,000 data entries within the HER for the Westmorland and Furness and Cumberland local authority areas, excluding the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. The HER is continually updated with new information provided by professional archaeologists, historians, researchers, and through enhancement projects grant-aided by Historic England and other bodies.

What can be found in the HER?

The HER is a valuable source of information for anyone interested in the archaeology and history of Westmorland and Furness and Cumberland. Computerised details include site type, period, description of known history and condition, and sources of further information. It is linked to a Geographical Information System (GIS) which can provide information from nineteenth century Ordnance Survey maps and digitised colour vertical air photographs. Alongside this computerised data there are many paper records including reports on surveys and excavations, plans, publications and a large collection of oblique monochrome aerial photographs.

A full list of the information we hold, and the services we offer, can be found in our  Information and Services Policy (PDF 220KB)

Opening Hours

The HER is normally available for consultation every weekday (excluding bank holidays and for two weeks at Christmas and the New Year) between the hours of 10am and 5pm. As space is limited, an appointment must be arranged in advance of visiting.

Provision of searching services

The Environment Record does not currently have a full-time Historic Environment Records Officer, and unfortunately the resource to undertake searches is reduced. We apologise for any inconvenience that this might cause. The HER remains open for visitors, by appointment, as previously. Please contact us for further information.

Mark Brennand, Manager - Lead Officer Historic Environment and Commons.


County Offices




Other online HER Resources

To search for historic archives such as parish registers, other church records, wills, electoral registers, maps and plans, poor law records, title deeds, and photographs, visit the Cumbria Archives Service.