Merseyside Historic Environment Record

ancient carved stone

A pre-11th century 'Hogback Stone' from West Kirby

Consulting the MHER

The Future of the Merseyside Historic Environment Record

National Museums Liverpool and Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, November 2013

Responsibility for the Merseyside Historic Environment Record (MHER) will shortly pass to the Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service  (MEAS), who will then facilitate access to the Record, and maintain and update it on behalf of the five Merseyside borough councils (Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral).  

MEAS is an existing joint local authority advisory service hosted by Sefton Council.  National Museums Liverpool will lend the paper-based MHER documentation to MEAS so that it can be digitised. MEAS will appoint an HER Officer who will be responsible for overseeing the digitisation process, and subsequent maintenance of the Record.  In due course a web-site presence for the HER will also be established. 

During this transitional period, beginning on14 November 2013, access to the Merseyside HER will be restricted to the provision of point-data index information from monument records, which National Museums Liverpool will  endeavour to offer on an interim basis.  

The daily fee remains at £500; with a minimum fee of £100 per enquiry.  Contact details for HER enquiries to National Museums Liverpool  for this period will remain | .

From 1 April 2014, all enquiries should be directed to MEAS at: First Floor, Merton House, Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3DL.  
During this transitional period the contact officer at MEAS is Paul Slinn,  telephone: 0151 934 2791 or email | .  
While the digitisation project is ongoing, MEAS will not be offering planning advice to the districts, but will facilitate access to the archive from 1 April 2014 to enable assessment of the archaeological potential in areas of proposed development.  The access fees will be confirmed in due course.
Securing a positive future for the Merseyside Historic Environment Record has been a priority for National Museums Liverpool and many stakeholders.  This transfer has been achieved through agreement between National Museums Liverpool, MEAS and the five Merseyside districts, with the support of English Heritage.

Please note that no planning advice can be given. Current access to the HER is an interim arrangement provided by National Museums Liverpool.  Funding for management of the HER and planning functions will shortly transfer to Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service.

Background information

The Merseyside Historic Environment Record (HER) is the central body of information on the historic urban and rural environment of Merseyside. It forms part of a comprehensive network of historic environment records containing information on England's past and our changing historic environment. There is a HER in each county/unitary or group of metropolitan local government areas of England, typically consisting of a database with attendant documentary and cartographic local research sources.

HERs are recognised by Government and in local policy plans as key records to assist in the identification, conservation, management and wider understanding of and the promotion of our historic environment (Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment. DCLG March 2010).

Most HERs contain information on non-designated heritage assets predominantly of historic and archaeological interest in the form of individual sites and remains above/below ground/under water, buildings, artefacts, landscapes. HERs also include information on designated heritage assets (as subject to the relevant legislation). Mainly local authority based services; HERs are primarily used to assist in the conservation management of the historic environment as part of the planning and development management process. Other users are national and local organizations, historic environment professionals, researchers and members of the public and students. HERs management, maintenance and operation requires particular expertise, as does the interpretation of the information for providing specialist advice.

The information in HERs is not static, as the results of new discoveries and investigations are added, thus increasing knowledge of an area and ability to share the information.

Merseyside HER boundaries and content

The Merseyside HER covers the five local government unitary authorities of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens & Wirral (formerly the county of Merseyside).

The Merseyside HER relates to a full range of information on the historic environment of Merseyside: terrestrial, inter-tidal, some marine sites and consist of known archaeological/historical sites, finds, buildings/structures documentary written evidence, photographs, excavation and survey details etc. Information is as diverse in range as in age. For instance, the periods cover evidence from the prehistoric to the more modern, e.g. information on a prehistoric flint tool artefact to an upstanding 19th century Listed Building.

For further information about the Merseyside HER please download the documents below: