English Heritage (officially the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). By advising on the care of the historic environment in England, English Heritage complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment. It has a broad remit of managing the historic environment of England and advises the relevant Secretary of State on policy and in individual cases such as registering listed buildings and scheduled ancient monuments. Simon Thurley has been chief executive since 2002.
It was set up under the terms of the National Heritage Act 1983. Its functions for maintaining ancient monuments had previously been undertaken by part of the Department of the Environment which was the successor to the Ministry of Works. The 1983 Act also dissolved the bodies that had hitherto provided independent advice — the Ancient Monuments Board for England and the Historic Buildings Council for England and incorporated these functions in the new body. Another advisory body, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) was not merged with English Heritage until 1 April 1999.
English Heritage's best known role is as the steward of over 400 significant historical and archaeological sites, from Stonehenge to the world's earliest iron bridge. It has direct ownership over some historic sites and also liaises with private owners of sites that are managed under guardianship arrangements. It has major responsibilities in conservation, giving advice, registering and protecting the historic environment. It also maintains a public archive, the English Heritage Archive, formerly known as the National Monuments Record (NMR).
Famous quotes containing the words english and/or heritage:
“Red lips are not so red As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.”
—Wilfred Owen (18931918)
“Flowers ... that are so pathetic in their beauty, frail as the clouds, and in their colouring as gorgeous as the heavens, had through thousands of years been the heritage of childrenhonoured as the jewellery of God only by themwhen suddenly the voice of Christianity, counter-signing the voice of infancy, raised them to a grandeur transcending the Hebrew throne, although founded by God himself, and pronounced Solomon in all his glory not to be arrayed like one of these.”
—Thomas De Quincey (17851859)