Historic environments are an important part of National Parks that we help to look after. We help people learn about how other people used to live, by looking at the remains they left behind.
From standing stones and huge buildings to almost invisible traces left on the ground and objects buried in the soil, our historic environments date from the stone age to more recent industrial sites.
Why are National Parks good for history?
National Parks are particularly good places for historical remains because a lack of intensive building and agriculture over many years, means that remains are still visible.
How do we look after our historic environments?
We keep detailed records of all the historic sites within National Parks. Our staff and volunteers visit the sites regularly to see what state they are in and to look for anything that might damage them. We work with landowners and our partners to help protect any vulnerable sites, this could mean keeping grazing animals away or rebuilding structures.
We help train people in traditional building techniques, like thatching, dry stone walling or being a millwright, so they have the skills to repair and maintain historic structures.
Our archaeologists also carry out digs and surveys to explore new and exisiting sites. When new building work is proposed in a National Park, our archaeologists often take the chance to do a dig to see if any new remains are found.
We help everyone enjoy our history
We want everyone who visits or lives in a National Park to be able to enjoy our history. We work with landowners to allow the public access to visit historical sites, we give guided walks and talks and produce signs, leaflets and publications to help explain the stories of the people who lived in the National Parks in the past.
Our archaeologists carry out digs, working with archaeology groups and volunteers, and we put on archaeology conferences that anyone can come to.
We work with partners
We work with lots of other organisations to protect our historic sites, like English Heritage, Scottish Heritage, the National Trust and private landowners. This report from English Heritage shows how the National Parks in England, working with partners, help look after our historic environments.
Some highlights of our historical sites
There are thousands of buildings, monuments and historical sites across the National Parks, here are just a few highlights:
- Hadrian's Wall -goes across North York Moors, Northumberland and the Lake District National Parks!
- Hardknott roman fort, Lake District
- Cawthorn Camps, North York Moors
- Dartmoor longhouse at Higher Uppacott - virtual tour
- Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire Coast
- Rievaulx and other Abbeys in the North York Moors
- Brecon Beacons - history and heritage
- Broads - history
- Dartmoor - cultural heritage
- Exmoor - historic environment
- Lake District - archaeology and history
- New Forest - archaeology
- Northumberland - history and archaeology
- North York Moors - archaeology
- Pembrokeshire Coast - the past
- Snowdonia - our heritage
- South Downs - history and archaeology
- Yorkshire Dales- historic environment