Explore the past with our Historic Environment Record
There are a number of ways to access information about the Historic Environment Record, both online and on-site at The Hive. If you have any questions or queries about our archaeological resources, or the information within them, please contact us for advice.
Historic Environment Record (HER)
The HER database is the County of Worcestershire’s primary resource for archaeological and historic environment information. We hold approximately 83,000 records including archaeological sites, historic buildings, monuments, and landscape features. The HER can help you to research:
- Your area, whether that’s a village, a particular building, or parish
- A particular period of interest, including Roman, Medieval, and World War II
- Industries such as lime kilns, carpet factories, and needle manufacturing
- Historic artefacts, such as coins, pottery, plant, and animal remains
For further information about the data recorded by Worcestershire’s HER, please see our Recording, Information and Disposals Policy.
Accessing the HER
Parts of the HER database are available to search online through the Heritage Gateway. To access the full database visit us on Level 2 in The Hive at the HER desk Tuesdays & Thursday 10:30-13:30, or contact us for information.
Commercial HER Requests
To submit a commercial search request please check our list of fees and charges and make a commercial request below.
UK Forestry Standard HER Search
To submit a a request for information for UK Forestry please see our services and charges document for more information.
Unpublished archaeology reports (also known as ‘Grey Literature’) for Worcestershire can be found on the Archaeology Data Service here: ADS Website. If you cannot find a report this may be due to a number of reasons including copyright or commercially sensitive information – Contact us at the details above if you are unable to trace a particular report.
Historic Landscape Characterisation
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service undertook a Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) of Worcestershire as part of Historic England’s national programme of Historic Landscape Characterisation. The project had the aim of better understanding the County’s landscape as the setting of the archaeological sites and monuments within the Historic Environment Record.
The Worcestershire HLC is accessible via an interactive map browser below and is fully integrated with the Worcestershire Historic Environment Record. The resource can be used to provide a basis for landscape management, place planning, development control and conservation issues at a local, regional and national level.
Historic Landscape Character Report (Includes guidance on applications of HLC)
Our ceramics database was designed to make the complete pottery fabric and form type series for Worcestershire accessible online. The database is aimed at ceramic specialists and students, but can be used by anyone interested in the study of pottery, as it includes both simple and advanced search facilities.
It contains information on all pottery used and made in Worcestershire from the Neolithic to the early post-medieval period, as well as the most commonly identified later post-medieval and modern fabrics and forms. Also included are high-resolution fabric images and concordance information for other type series in surrounding counties.
“Thank you so much for all your hard work and diligence in creating this [ceramics] database! The design is excellent and I believe that this sets the standard for searchable online data banks” (blog)
Tithe and Inclosure Maps
Many of these 18th and 19th-century maps of Worcestershire and their associated documents have been digitised. Together with the other records within the HER, these form part of a powerful, searchable research tool.
We rely on external funding to undertake this work, and new maps are being added as they are completed. If you belong to a local history, archaeology or community group we may be able to assist your organisation to apply for a grant to allow this work to continue as part of a group/community project. We have already worked Badsey and Aldington, Stourport and Hanley Castle on mapping projects and the results are available on their websites.
Historic Towns of Worcestershire
An archaeological survey of the historic towns in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire was carried out by the Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeological Service in 1992-1996. Archaeologists studied all the available sources of information about each town – archaeology, history, buildings, maps, finds – and developed an understanding of what each town looked like in the past. Thirteen historic towns were assessed in Worcestershire: Alvechurch, Bewdley, Broadway, Bromsgrove, Clifton-upon-Teme, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster, Pershore, Redditch, Stourport-on-Severn, Tenbury Wells, Upton-Upon-Severn.
The reports for towns in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire are available online via the Archaeology Data Service website.
Archaeological Finds Advice
Worcestershire is a county rich in archaeological finds from prehistoric stone axes to the remains of World War II defences. The value of a find is not only whether it is of gold or silver – but the story that it can help tell. But a find can only begin to tell this story if it is correctly recorded. Finds that you think might be of archaeological interest can be reported to the Portable Antiquity Scheme (PAS) who will view the find and record it where suitable in the national database and the local Historic Environment Record. Contact details for the Finds Liaison Officer (for the area in which the object was found) and information on reporting finds to the Portable Antiquity Scheme can be found below.
There is a legal responsibility to report some classes of finds through the Treasure Act
Always get the permission of the landowner and tenant before entering any land. Do not collect finds from Scheduled Monuments (this is illegal). Seek professional help if you discover something large, unusual or below the ploughsoil. If metal detecting, please follow the Metal Detecting code of practice
If you are concerned that a site, monument, or building in Worcestershire is being damaged or that someone is metal detecting irresponsibly or illegally, then please contact the County Archaeologist on 01905 844824 in the first instance. They will be able to advise you on the correct course of action and forward the relevant details to other bodies such as Historic England.