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The Dudley Historic Environment Record (HER) is Dudley’s source of information about the area’s rich history. From the archaeological finds discovered beneath Dudley’s marketplace to the story of the town’s drinking fountain, you can trace their history and much more here. The Dudley HER is one of over 85 located in England. It is a continuously expanding resource providing a record of all known heritage assets within Dudley.

It's a computerised database of all known heritage assets in Dudley and contains several thousand records that are constantly being expanded with new information.

Using a GIS based platform called the Historic Buildings, Sites and Monuments Record (HBSMR), multiple sources of data about various aspects of the historic environment are brought together. The HBSMR indexes available ‘sources’ (documents, books, articles, etc) held by the HER and by other organizations, and it holds extensive supporting collections of photographs, survey reports and plans and a growing library of unpublished ‘grey literature’ reports mainly generated by the planning process.

The HER is a valuable and comprehensive resource, used extensively by a wide range of people including officers from many different parts of the Council, planning consultants, academic researchers, developers, schools and members of the public:

  • for interpretive and educational purposes;
  • to supply general and detailed information about the Borough’s heritage;
  • to supply data in response to both site-specific and area-based queries;
  • to formulate talks, displays and publications and so make the Borough’s history accessible to residents and visitors alike;
  • as the starting point for the giving of planning advice in respect of development proposals affecting any aspect of the historic environment. If any part of a development proposal is of historic interest developers should always consult the HER before formulating detailed proposals. Reference to the archaeological flowchart for potential development sites will help guide the sequence for determining archaeological significance.

You can use the HER to search for the following types of information:

  • By geographical area (a particular building, street or town);
  • By subject area (industrial activity, war memorials);
  • By historic period (Mediaeval, Modern);
  • By asset type (Buildings, find spots, people).

For applicants who are required to provide in support of their planning application and/or Listed Building Consent a Statement of Heritage Significance they will be required to demonstrate that they have consulted the Council’s Historic Environment Record (HER).

Furthermore they will be required to include reference to the Historic Environment SPD, they are also advised to make reference to the Historic England Advice Note 12: Statements of Heritage Significance (Oct 2019).

Commercial projects undertaken as part of the development management process should not rely solely on the information available via Heritage Gateway. Further information should be sought directly from Historic Environment staff at Dudley Council who can undertake a more detailed search. Commercial projects will be required to include within any reports issued to the local planning authority the relevant HER enquiry reference number.  

How to Access & Search the Dudley HER

You can access and search the Dudley HER through the Heritage Gateway. Information from the Dudley HER can also be obtained directly from the Historic Environment Service particularly in respect of planning related enquiries and data in response to both site-specific and area-based queries. To accompany the Dudley HER there is an online archive of historic maps. If you have a query about the HER, then please email historic.environment@dudley.gov.uk.

Dudley makes the HER available to everyone from commercial contractors to students and members of the public. To perform a basic search, some of Dudley’s HER information is available completely free of charge at Heritage Gateway. Please bear in mind that this information is relatively basic and updated only periodically, but it does allow you to search for information on a particular site or building at your leisure. For a fully detailed search of your area of interest, it is best to contact us and we will search our records on your behalf. It is important to note that all commercial searches must be conducted through the HER to ensure full and accurate information is obtained. Heritage Gateway must not be used as a substitute in this case.

To help you get the best out of your HER search, the following basic information should be provided to us on your application:

  • The geographic location of the search, usually expressed as a radius in metres around a six-figure Ordnance Survey National Grid Reference. We are also able to accept ESRI shapefiles as search boundaries if you wish to search on an irregular area such as field boundaries or historic townships for example.
  • Any information about historic periods of interest (if relevant);
  • What you want to use the information for.

Upon your request, we will perform the search and provide the following basic output:

  • PDF format report of all relevant records;
  • By default, we will provide the sites on a PDF base map, but can also provide this in ESRI shapefile format should you wish to load this into your own GIS software for further analysis. In some cases we may need to ask you to set up a licensing agreement with our GIS Team due to the fact that a number of geographic boundaries on the HER are based on Ordnance Survey data. We will provide further advice in this respect upon receipt of your request and once the license agreement has been signed the shapefiles can then be released.
  • Where a specific site or building of interest is the subject of your search, we may be able to provide extended information including photographs and scanned archive materials such as news cuttings, letters and research. Our records are highly variable in this respect, so please do ask.
  • We can also provide historic mapping to aid with site context and regression analysis exercises.

Personal and student searches and Commercial enquiries

Personal and student searches

If you are requesting a search for your own interests or are a student, we do not charge for our services. You can request a free search via our e-mail address at historic.environment@dudley.gov.uk

Commercial enquiries

If you are performing a search for commercial reasons, we apply a charge for this. At current, we charge a standard flat rate of £80 per search, regardless of search area and length of time required to fulfil the request. If you would like to request a commercial search, you can do this via e-mail at HER@dudley.gov.uk, however, prior to contacting the HER, it is advisable to contact the Historic Environment Officer to ensure that the data you are requesting is suitable for assessment purposes. 

Contact Historic Environment Officer