Dudley Council
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Dudley’s archaeological heritage is a vital component of the historic environment comprising many hundreds of sites, buildings and structures.

All archaeological remains, whether structures, earthworks or buried deposits potentially hold the key to a better understanding of Dudley’s past and how it has evolved to the present, thus reinforcing the sense of place and local distinctiveness that makes Dudley special.

Sites range in date and type from prehistoric artefact scatters, to medieval settlements, historic parkland, water mills and the many sites and structures of the Industrial Revolution. There are also whole areas, such as the medieval planned town of Dudley itself, which have a high archaeological potential.

Eleven of Dudley’s most significant sites are of acknowledged national importance and therefore designated as Scheduled Monuments.

Within the borough there are also a number of sites that have been identified as having a high potential for the survival of archaeological remains of regional or national importance that have not been considered as Scheduled Monuments or where there is insufficient data available concerning the state of preservation or any remains to justify such a designation. These have been identified by Dudley Council as Archaeological Priority Areas (APA’s) and have been designated upon an analysis of survival, rarity, representation and vulnerability.

New archaeological sites are regularly identified through survey and fieldwork and through information supplied by local people. A record of all Dudley’s known archaeological sites is kept on the Historic Environment Record.

Find out about Archaeological Remains

You can find out if a site that you are interested in is likely to contain above or below ground archaeological remains and also how any remains might affect future development proposals by:

  • contacting the Historic Environment Team
  • following the process shown on the archaeology flowchart for potential development.


Management of Archaeological sites

Archaeological sites require to be managed sensitively through the planning system as a fragile and finite resource. 

We therefore monitor all new development proposals in order to ensure that important archaeological sites are preserved in-situ wherever possible. Where this is not feasible archaeological recording, paid for by the developer, will be required in advance of development taking place.

For more information please refer to the Historic Environment SPD (September 2017) and to the flow chart which illustrates the process for determining archaeological significance on a potential development site and the level of mitigation required.

Recording an Archaeological Find

We rely on members of the public to bring us what they find, to increase everyone’s knowledge of Dudley’s past.

We record artefacts which are over about 300 years old, and the location where they were found, on Dudley’s Historic Environment Record and the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.  The finder receives a copy of the information that we record when they collect the objects.

Before searching for archaeological finds, you must have the permission of the landowner.  All artefacts belong to the landowner and all land is owned, including footpaths and common land.

If you would like us to record your find, email HER@dudley.gov.uk


Some of the objects that are brought in to us fall within the Treasure Act 1996.

Objects which may qualify as treasure must be reported to the Coroner for the area where the object was found. You can find more information about the Treasure Act, including an explanation of what finds are classed as treasure, on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

Looking for artefacts

You must get permission from the landowner before you search for objects, with or without a metal detector. This applies to commons and footpaths. It’s a good idea to get permission in writing, with a map showing the areas you are allowed to search. You should also discuss what will happen to any objects you find.

Some sites are protected and can’t be searched even with the landowner’s permission, for example Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

More advice is available on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

If you find an item which might be treasure

You must report all discoveries of potential treasure within 14 days of the day of discovery, or within 14 days of the day on which you realised it might be treasure, for example after having it identified.

It’s a criminal offence if you fail to do this

If you think you may have found an item of treasure or any archaeological object, contact the Finds Liaison Officer and Coroner or visit the West Midlands Portable Antiquities Database website.

Scheduled monuments

Scheduled monuments are statutorily designated and protected archaeological sites of national importance.