A wide range of information relating to the historic and archaeological environment is included in the HER. For example:
- Chance finds, such as prehistoric flint tools or fragments of Roman pottery
- Standing monuments, like the ruins of a Norman Castle
- Excavations, often in advance of building development
- Field Surveys, identifying scatters of material in ploughed fields and historic landscape features
- Cropmarks indicating buried walls or ditches, identified from aerial photographs
- Documentary evidence, such as a watermill shown on a 18th century map
- Research projects, such as into industrial sites and Second World War defences
- Information on protected sites, such as Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments and Historic Parks & Gardens
At present, the HER contains around 15,000 records, ranging from the earliest periods of prehistory, to post-medieval and modern times. As new sites and finds are being discovered all the time, the HER is continually being updated and our knowledge of all archaeological periods continues to evolve.
The level of information and accuracy varies between records, depending on the available sources. Some sites are known only from 19th century or earlier chance discoveries and their exact location may be vague. Others are based on modern excavations or surveys which can produce much more detailed information.
Information on new sites and finds and additional details about existing sites are provided by professional archaeologists, museums, local researchers and projects grant-aided by Surrey County Council or English Heritage.
The archaeological significance of a site can therefore change as new information leads to its re-interpretation. In addition the HER is reviewed in line with national data standards and developments in new technology, such as the use of Geographic Information Systems.
It should be noted that the online HER records available on this site form a simplified version of the master database. We may hold further information and resources for a particular record. You can use the comment link from an individual record to request more information about that site, monument or listed building.