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We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

What we do

Sweetheart Abbey
Historic Scotland is an Agency within the Scottish Government and is directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation's historic environment, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment.

Historic Scotland has had a number of different names and emphases of function over the past few decades but we became Historic Scotland in 1991.

Our roles

Our role is to deliver policy and advise on all aspects of the historic environment on behalf of Scottish Ministers.We also carry out statutory functions relating to two acts of Parliament - the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, which allows us to schedule sites of national importance and take them into state care, and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 that grants us the authority to list structures for their architectural or historical significance.

It is headed by a Chief Executive who is responsible to Scottish Ministers, within the terms of the Framework Document, for its management, performance and future development.

Our staff

Historic Scotland's staff encompass a wide range of disciplines and skills. Archaeologists and art historians. Conservators and craftsmen. Custodians and keykeepers. Building professionals and specialised support staff and administrators. All provide a single agency in Scotland to safeguard the nation's heritage for present and future generations.

The agency is divided into six groups which carry out the functions required by Scottish Ministers.

The agency is responsible for all management functions, including staff pay and conditions, accommodation, finance, personnel, procurement, computer systems and external communications. Historic Scotland has undergone considerable cultural and organisational change since becoming an agency, adopting a business-like approach related to customers' needs.

Our locations

Our main office is in Edinburgh but we also have staff, properties, monument conservation units and regional offices spread across Scotland.

Our future

Historic Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government with its principal office at Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh EH9 1SH.

On 1 October 2015, Historic Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) will cease to operate and will be replaced by a new organisation, Historic Environment Scotland. This new organisation (which is a Non Departmental Public Body) is established by the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Historic Environment Scotland will assume the property, rights, liabilities and obligations of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.

Contact us

Historic Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Tel: + 44 (0) 131 668 8600