Scheduled Monument Consent

A monument which has been scheduled is protected against disturbance or unlicensed metal detecting. Application for Scheduled Monument Consent must be made to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport before any work can be carried out which might affect a monument either above or below ground level.

English Heritage gives advice to the government on each application and administers the consent system. In assessing applications, the Secretary of State will aim to ensure that the significance of protected sites is safeguarded for the long term future.

Further advice regarding what it means when a monument is scheduled can be obtained from the relevant local English Heritage team. To find your closest team check our contact us page.

Written consent must always be obtained before any work on a scheduled monument can begin. Some development may also need planning permission, which will need to be obtained from the Local Planning Authority.

Some types of work, generally related to agriculture or gardening, where these activities are already being carried out, are allowed to go ahead without consent. Our relevant local team will be able to provide further advice on what requires consent.

An overview of the Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) process can be downloaded below for further information.

How to Apply for Scheduled Monument Consent


Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) applications are decided by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport but the administration, process and handling of applications are undertaken by English Heritage. 

Application forms should be sent to the relevant English Heritage local office. For guidance on how to fill out the SMC Application Form, see the Notes for Applicants. 

Scheduled Monument Clearance

Works by or on behalf of government departments and their agencies have Crown exemption from statutory scheduled monument consent controls under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. 

However, all works to a scheduled monument by government departments and their agencies including repair and excavation require Scheduled Monument Clearance.

For further information on how to apply for Scheduled Monument Clearance please see the GHEU pages on the HELM website and download the Guidance note for Crown Bodies on the removal of crown immunity and their historic estate. 

Managing Scheduled Monuments


We aim to encourage owners to maintain their scheduled monuments in good condition by adopting sympathetic land uses.

This may simply mean restricting stock levels sensibly or controlling undergrowth. English Heritage's local teams can offer owners more detailed advice on how to manage their monuments. Please contact us for further information on this.

For some sites in rural settings, the best form of management may be through agri-environmental incentive schemes, run by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).


There is a range of grant incentive schemes for owners including Stewardship programmes run by Natural England for farmers and land managers.

English Heritage is able to award grants to help with major repairs in some circumstances and to bring scheduled monuments into beneficial management. Our local teams can give owners advice on available schemes and general management issues. See Grants Available.

Criminal Offences

It is against the law to:

  • disturb a scheduled monument by carrying out works without consent
  • cause reckless or deliberate damage to a monument
  • use a metal detector or remove an object found at one without a licence from English Heritage

Conviction for these offences can lead to fines.