About Us

About Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment.

We lead and enable Scotland’s first historic environment strategy Our Place in Time, which sets out how our historic environment will be managed. It ensures our historic environment is cared for, valued and enhanced, both now and for future generations. Learn more about ‘Our Story’ in our stakeholder pack.

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We’re a non-departmental public body with charitable status. We're governed by a Board of Trustees, who were appointed by Scottish Ministers.

We’re responsible for more than 300 properties of national importance. Buildings and monuments in our care include Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae, Fort George and numerous smaller sites, which together draw more than 5 million visitors per year.

We’re also responsible for internationally significant collections including more than 5 million drawings, photographs, negatives and manuscripts, along with 20 million aerial images of locations across the world.

We invest about £14 million a year in national and local organisations, supporting building repairs, ancient monuments, archaeological work, the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme and the voluntary sector.

Our conservation experts provide guidance, training and technical research into Scotland’s built environment. Through our outreach programme, we promote community and individual learning engagement with Scotland’s heritage. We contribute to the Scottish Government’s strategy to tackle climate change and reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint.

Our ezine

Our newsletter, The Keystone, will keep you up to date on the process and work of Historic Environment Scotland.

Subscribe to The Keystone
The Keystone, most recent issues:

Historic Environment Scotland by numbers

  • 300+ properties and sites in care
  • 5 million visitors to our staffed sites in 2018
  • 5 million+ drawings, photographs, negatives and manuscripts relating to Scotland’s historic environment
  • tens of millions of aerial photographs of historic events and locations worldwide
  • 200,000 members
  • £41.6 million commercial income per year
  • 1,280 staff across Scotland

Download key documents from the transition process:

Historic Environment Scotland Information Pack [PDF, 320KB]
Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014 [PDF, 441KB]
Historic Environment Scotland Bill – Financial Memorandum [PDF, 1.31MB]
Historic Environment Scotland Bill – Policy Memorandum [PDF, 667KB]
Historic Environment Scotland – Framework Document [PDF, 295KB]
Historic Environment Scotland – Letter of Guidance [PDF, 234KB]
Shaping our Future – Building a New Lead Body for the Historic Environment [PDF, 870KB]
Shaping our Future – Key Messages [PDF, 384KB]
Shaping our Future – Frequently Asked Questions [PDF, 853KB]
Stakeholder Engagement – Final Report [PDF, 609KB]
Strategic Appraisal Report [PDF, 960KB]
Herald advertising feature [PDF, 117KB]


Historic Environment Scotland Board
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

Telephone: 0131 668 8852
E-mail: board@hes.scot