Caring for Rural Heritage

Read about how rural heritage can benefit from programmes that offer advice and funding for the care of heritage in rural settings. Also, learn how Historic England’s research and techniques for managing changes to rural heritage. We explain characterisation, investigation and assessment of significance. We explore how people used the land and left us with the built and archaeological heritage we value today.

  • What Is Rural Heritage?

    England's rural landscape includes a great range of heritage assets from historic buildings to archaeological remains.

  • Rural Planning

    This page sets out how planning in the countryside differs from that in urban areas, and points to sources of further information.

Protecting rural heritage

Support and funding

Research and techniques

Our research explores new ways of appreciating and understanding the rural historic environment and informs the ways we manage change to rural buildings and landscapes.

  • Farmsteads Character

    A series of reports to help understand the local character of farmsteads in England.

  • Rural Buildings Research

    Read about our recent research which assesses the character and significance of rural buildings across England’s countryside.

  • Historic Characterisation

    Revealing the patterns and connections within a landscape, spatially and through time, for example in relation to buildings and patterns (of fields, streets and routeways).

  • Atlas of Rural Settlement

    A downloadable spatial data of 19th century settlements and terrain in England based on the Atlas of Rural Settlement.

  • Development and Land Use

    Historic England research into how land use and development can affect the historic environment.

Also of interest