About Us

Our brand

Our brand guidelines set out the values, mission and brand structure for Historic Environment Scotland.

1 Overview

Historic Environment Scotland was created in October 2015. We build upon the work of Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).

We are 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.

Find about more about who we are.

2 Our vision

Our vision is a statement of what success looks like for us.

We aim to make sure Scotland’s heritage is cherished, understood, shared and enjoyed with pride by everyone.

3 Our mission

This sums up our goals as an organisation and the philosophy behind them.

Our mission is to enhance knowledge and understanding of our cultural heritage. We want to protect and conserve it for the enjoyment, enrichment and benefit of everyone, both now and for future generations.

We want to share and celebrate our heritage with the world.

4 Our values

Our values are the guiding principles for what we stand for as an organisation.

We stand for:

  • collaboration - we work closely and in an inclusive way with others to achieve shared goals
  • professionalism - we strive for excellence in everything that we do
  • innovation - we are forward looking and creative, embracing change
  • openness - we are transparent in our business and in our relationships
  • respect - we show respect for the contribution everyone makes and in the way we treat each other

5 Our brand and structure

Our logo is based on the concept of a keystone. These are found across the built historic environment which is seen as a symbol of strength and stability. They bring elements together to create a coherent whole.

We bring together the wide range of work carried out by Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), and with it a number of sub-brands of the main Historic Environment Scotland brand have been created.

Beneath our main brand are seven sub-brands. These sub-brands are:

A graphic reading: "Canmore: National Record of the Historic Environment"


Canmore is the online catalogue of the HES Archives and the National Record of the Historic Environment. It holds detailed information and archive images for more than 300,000 places that help to tell the story of Scotland’s archaeology, buildings, industrial and maritime heritage.

Canmore contains information and collections from all the survey and recording work carried out by Historic Environment Scotland, as well as from a wide range of other organisations, communities and individuals who are helping to enhance this national resource.

A graphic of a lion

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is our most visited property in care, attracting over 1.8 million visitors in 2017.

A mighty fortress, the defender of the nation and home of the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Edinburgh Castle has dominated the skyline for centuries and is part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

A graphic of a building outline with the words "The Engine Shed: An Seada Einnsein"

The Engine Shed

The Engine Shed is Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre, based in Stirling and opened in July 2017.

Our Conservation Science, Technical Outreach & Education and Digital Documentation teams are based in the venue, which is also a free visitor attraction with augmented and virtual reality experiences on offer for members of the public to engage with Scotland’s historic environment.

A graphic of a banner and building in blue with the words "Historic Scotland: Alba Aosmhor"

Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland runs all of our visitor sites, apart from Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and The Engine Shed.

It is also the consumer facing brand for visitor related activities such as membership and e-commerce functions.

A graphic reading "NCAP: National Collection of Aerial Photography"

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP)

NCAP is one of the largest collections of aerial imagery in the world, containing tens of millions of images featuring historic events and places. It collects and secures the future of these records (both digitally and physically) to preserve them for future generations.

NCAP does not receive public funding and operates as a commercial unit.

A graphic reading "Scran: Learning Culture Heritage"


Scran is an online learning service with more than 500,000 images and media. It aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing Scotland’s material culture and history.

The website hosts images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media and is one of the largest educational online services in the UK, supporting thousands of schools, libraries, colleges and universities.

A graphic of a unicorn head with the words "Stirling Castle"

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s great stone castles and extremely popular amongst domestic visitors. Its origins are ancient and over the centuries it grew into a great royal residence and a powerful stronghold.

Nowadays, it plays hosts to a variety of events and exhibitions along with being one of the country’s top visitor attractions.