The Monuments Protection Programme (MPP) is a comprehensive review and evaluation of England's archaeological resource, designed to collect information which will enhance the conservation, management and appreciation of the archaeological heritage. One of its principal aims is to identify monuments and sites whose national importance and conservation needs justify some form of statutory protective designation (generally scheduling).
Two sections within English Heritage carry out the work of the programme:
- Archaelogy Section (Inspectors of Ancient Monuments, MPP Archaelogists and consultants), which carries out evaluation and identification work and prepares draft scheduling proposals
- Scheduling Section, which with the support of English Heritage's Record Office produces final scheduling proposals for consultation with owners and submission to Government, and publishes the Schedule of Ancient Monuments on behalf of the Secretary of State for National Heritage
The monument class description is the key to the evaluation method, sometimes supported by thresholds for helping to define national importance, for example on the basis of rarity, archaeological potential and vulnerability.
The descriptions are based on a synthesis of current knowledge and will therefore always be provisional, subject to change as new data become known and further research and synthesis are undertaken.
There are currently c 225 monument class descriptions which we have prepared so far, but the set is still expanding.
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