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