Historic Environment Scotland
Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil Alba

Longmore House in Edinburgh, headquarters of Historic Environment Scotland
Organisation overview
Formed1 October 2015; 8 years ago (2015-10-01)
Preceding agencies
TypeNon-departmental public body
HeadquartersLongmore House, Edinburgh
Employees1,500+ (incl. volunteers)
Minister responsible
Organisation executives
  • Hugh Hall, Chairman
  • Alex Paterson, Chief Executive
Websitewww.historicenvironment.scot Edit this at Wikidata

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) (Scottish Gaelic: Àrainneachd Eachdraidheil Alba) is an executive non-departmental public body responsible for investigating, caring for and promoting Scotland's historic environment. HES was formed in 2015 from the merger of government agency Historic Scotland with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). Among other duties, Historic Environment Scotland maintains more than 300 properties of national importance including Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae and Fort George.


The responsibilities of HES were formerly split between Historic Scotland, a government agency responsible for properties of national importance, and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), which collected and managed records about Scotland's historic environment.[1] Under the terms of a Bill of the Scottish Parliament published on 3 March 2014,[2] the pair were dissolved and their functions transferred to Historic Environment Scotland, on 1 October 2015.[3]

Historic Environment Scotland is a non-departmental public body with charitable status, governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Scottish Ministers. The body is charged with implementing "Our Place in Time", Scotland's historic environment strategy, and has responsibility for buildings and monuments in state care, as well as national collections of manuscripts, drawings and photographs. Beyond these collections, Historic Environment Scotland provides funding and guidance for conservation works and education across Scotland.[4]

Canmore is an online database maintained by Historic Environment Scotland since 2015. Previously it was maintained by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The National Collection of Aerial Photography is also now a sub-brand of HES.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "A new lead public body for the historic environment" (PDF). Historic Environment Scotland.
  2. ^ "Historic Environment Scotland Bill". Scottish Parliament. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  3. ^ McKenzie, Steven (30 September 2015). "Monuments body RCAHMS produces final report ahead of merger". BBC News. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016.
  4. ^ "About Historic Environment Scotland". Historic Environment Scotland.
  5. ^ "National Collection of Aerial Photography". www.historicenvironment.scot. Retrieved 4 January 2022.