Monuments Protection Programme
Guidance on the Use of Monument Class Descriptions
- STATUS: The Monument Class Descriptions (and equivalent MPP documents such as the industrial step 1 reports), and their copyright, belong to English Heritage. They will be published in due course and should be treated accordingly.
- PURPOSE: The Monument Class Descriptions (hereafter MCDs) have been drafted to support an evaluation procedure which was designed as the starting point for defining national importance. The system is still being refined, and to an extent is therefore experimental. The "Classification" used is a data-handling device and does not pretend to offer a taxonomy for archaeological sites; it aims simply to split the data as usefully as possible within the limits of current knowledge and interpretations. The descriptions were drafted with three essential aims in mind:
- to define the scope of each monument class description;
- to describe the monument class, especially with respect to those aspects which can be identified by field observation;
- to provide preliminary guidance (subject to further judgement) on the application of the non-statutory criteria for national importance.
- QUALITY: The MCDs were prepared very rapidly in the early years of the MPP. They are working documents based on published material and utilising field and archaeological evidence. They do not describe all possible interpretations, or pretend to be polished academic texts. The quality of the descriptions varies from "adequate" to "state of the art". It is anticipated that feedback from practical use will allow the MCDs to be refined and improved. For some classes of monument for which no adequate consensus exists, it has not yet proved possible to produce MCDs.
- AVAILABILITY AND CIRCULATION: The descriptions are normally available in local government SMRs or in the NMR at Swindon. Citation of the descriptions in publications should be cleared with English Heritage (the MPP) beforehand.
English Heritage is prepared to supply copies of individual MCDs on request, although any supply of copies is discretionary. Citation of the descriptions in publications should be cleared with English Heritage (the MPP) beforehand.
Other Sources Of Information.
An English Heritage leaflet - The Monuments Protection Programme, 1986-96 in retrospect, December 1996, - describes the full range of the MPP's work to date.
An English Heritage leaflet - The Monuments Protection Programme, An introduction, August 1997"