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What is an Historic Building Recording?

Archaeology and heritage can often appear to be a bit of a minefield for developers, especially when there's a requirement for archaeological or heritage related works as part of the planning process on the project or development. To help guide you through this process, we're starting a series of posts explaining some of the technical terms you might hear and why they are required - This article focuses on Historic Building Recording.



An Historic Building Recording is a measured archaeological record of a historic building prior to alteration or demolition. It may be carried out prior to Planning Application or more usually it is required as a Planning Condition by the local council to secure approval for development.


Programmes of Historic Building Recording are carried out in accordance with criteria and guidance stipulated by Historic England. The level of recording is usually specified either by the local Archaeological Officer or Heritage/Conservation Officer in accordance with Historic England Guidelines which specify four distinct levels of recording:


  • Level 1 – A basic photographic record

  • Level 2 – A summary written & photographic record

  • Level 3 – An analytical written, drawn & photographic record

  • Level 4 – A detailed analytical written, drawn & photographic record


Depending on the level of the recording, the Historic Building Survey will broadly speaking, comprise a photographic and /or drawn record of the specific building informed by consultation of relevant sources of archaeological and historical information. Our team will produce an appropriately detailed report presenting the results of the Historic Building Recording which will then be submitted to the relevant Officer for approval, thus discharging the relevant planning condition. Please do get in touch if we can be of assistance with any of your development projects - we're here to help!

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