The first legislation on the preservation of archaeological and historic sites in Britain was the Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882. It made arrangements for the ‘guardianship’ of some 50 prehistoric sites and appointed a single inspector of ancient monuments.
Responsibility for sites and monuments was developed through further Acts during the early 20th century. The most significant changes, however, took place after the end of the Second World War. The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 began the system of listing buildings and structures of special historical, architectural or cultural importance.
However, the demolition of listed buildings, particularly in the countryside, continued almost unchecked in the 1950s and 1960s until rigorous new planning procedures were laid down in the Planning Act of 1968. This Act also explicitly introduced for the first time the concept of a listed building, a status which now carries full statutory obligations of care and conservation.
English Heritage was created by the National Heritage Act of 1983 as the successor to several older bodies responsible to the Government for heritage sites. It places special emphasis on fostering public interest in all aspects of the historic environment in England and Wales.
Scotland’s heritage is managed separately by authorities appointed under legislation enacted at Westminster.
CRL Restoration provide a range of services in a number of conservation and heritage sectors.