Archaeology - Historic Environment Record (HER)

Access and information policy

The Stoke-on-Trent Historic Environment Record (HER) is maintained to provide information on the historical environment of Stoke-on-Trent. The Stoke-on-Trent Historic Environmental Record is a record of heritage assets and acts as an index to detailed information held in reports and primary and secondary sources. It is used to identify sites of archaeological potential, particularly in regard to development control issues. It is also used for academic and local history research.

It covers the administrative district of Stoke-on-Trent (coterminous with the civil parish of Stoke-on-Trent), a Unitary Authority. It is maintained by the Planning Policy and Design team of Stoke-on-Trent City Council.It records statutorily designated sites:

  • Scheduled Monuments;
  • Listed Buildings;
  • Conservation Areas; and
  • Registered Parks and Gardens.

It records known sites of archaeological and historical interest: sites that have been archaeologically investigated or recorded including above and below ground remains and standing buildings; sites of archaeological potential identified from various sources, principally historical maps; sites where remains are unlikely to survive but where recording of their location contributes to an understanding of historical development patterns; findspots; landscape elements such as canals, canal bridges, ancient roadways, field patterns and indicative place names. It covers all periods from Prehistoric to modern, but is dominated by sites related to the pottery industry. At present there are around 1,500 sites on the record.

Principal sources that have been used to identify and record sites include:

  • Statutory descriptions for Listed buildings, Conservation Areas, Scheduled monuments, and
  • Registered Parks and Gardens;
  • Staffordshire Victoria County History volume 8;
  • Hampson, R. 1990 Longton Potters 1700-1865;
  • Godden, G. (ed.) 1972 Jewitt’s Ceramic Art of Great Britain;
  • Hawke-Smith, C. 1986 ‘18th-century maps of Burslem’, Staffordshire Archaeological Studies 3, 76-100;
  • Stoke-on-Trent Intensive Historic Building Survey;
  • Potteries Preservation Society Bottle Oven Survey;
  • Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club 1885-1960;
  • North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies 1960-1975;
  • Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society Reports;
  • Staffordshire Archaeological Studies.

It does not hold a primary archive, but holds copies of historical Ordnance Survey maps of the district. It also holds copies of reports by archaeological units of archaeological work carried out in the district. These are held as paper records, although more recent reports may also be held as MSWord documents or pdfs.

It is a computerised database using MSAccess and esdm HBSMR software. It is compliant with MIDAS data content standard and with Event-Monument-Archive/source information schemes, and conforms with INSCRIPTION wordlists and thesauri.

When requesting information from the Historic Environment Record (e.g. when producing a Statement of Significance), please supply a grid reference or location plan and confirm the extent of the search area required. If your search is thematic, please try to be as specific as possible regarding your requirements. Information is provided as MSWord documents, usually by email, print outs can be posted if preferred. GIS information can be sent as .shp files.

Copies of fieldwork reports can be posted on request, those held in digital format can be emailed. A number are now available on OASIS (Online AccesS to the Index of archaeological  investigationS - search for Stoke on Trent without hyphens, and tick Unitary authority in the ‘Where?’ section).

Staff time spent on searching for and collating information is charged at the rate of £55 + VAT per hour. This charge is only made for commercial enquiries, i.e. to consultants, and contractors. It is waived to all other types of enquirer. If a search is chargeable, organisations or individuals must issue a purchase order number will be required or provide written confirmation that one is not required in order for our invoice to be processed.

Information is usually sent out within two days of the receipt of the enquiry. The production of Shp files, however, will take longer. As there is only one archaeologist there may be delays due to absence through leave or sickness.

Although every reasonable effort is made to verify information contained within the database, the database is compiled from a variety of often unchecked sources and the information it contains should not be seen as definitive. Archaeological research is a continuous process and, as such, this information should not be taken as a definitive statement of coverage for this area. The absence of data in certain areas should not be taken as an absence of archaeological features; it may be that they have yet to be discovered. Therefore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council does not accept responsibility for the accuracy of any Historic Environment Record information supplied by it and the user of such information accepts that Stoke-on-Trent City Council accepts no liability whether for direct, indirect, consequential or incidental damages or losses arising from the use of this information.

The whole of the copyright and all other intellectual property rights throughout the world for the whole of the term of such copyright in the Historic Environment Record information is held by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. In supplying information no right of copying is implied.

We reserve the right to refuse access to the information where we believe that disclosure of that information could endanger the city’s archaeological resource.

For further information contact:

Planning Policy and Design
City Renewal
PO Box 630
Civic Centre
Glebe Street