Advice and Support

Our projects

Read about some of the projects the Designations Team is carrying out.

1 Overview

Along with our day-to-day work assessing proposals, we’re also working on several exciting projects.

2 Dual designation project

In the past, some sites have been ‘dual designated’ – both scheduled as monuments of national importance and listed as buildings of special architectural or historic interest. This often leads to confusion about management of such sites.

We’re working on a nationwide project to review all of Scotland’s 750 dual-designated sites. Removing dual designation will help to provide clarity on the best approach to managing sites in the future.

By the end of the process, most of these sites will either be scheduled monuments or listed buildings. Some may have their designations removed completely.

The project has already resulted in 900 designations decisions. We aim to complete our review by 2018.

3 Commemorating Scotland’s role in the First World War

We are currently carrying out a project to assess assess existing designated and undesignated First World War sites in Scotland and we expect to complete this project in 2018.

We’ve completed a review of drill halls as part of our marking of the centenary of the First World War. Between 1890 and 1910, Scotland’s Territorial Army built drill halls across Scotland. During the war, these provided a link between communities and the soldiers. We assessed around 100 drill halls as part of the project. We published a free booklet about the project in 2017.

We’ve also created the Commemorating the First World War website to promote awareness of Scotland’s contribution to the war.

We’re working with several organisations as part of our war commemorations, including:

  • the Council for British Archaeology, on its Home Front Legacy project
  • Scottish Borders Council, Archaeology Scotland and others to record and conserve the Stobs Camp training site and holding camp near Hawick

4 Thatched Buildings

We are undertaking a listing review of thatched buildings in Scotland. Our review follows the 2014–15 survey of thatched buildings in Scotland carried out by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Scotland and funded by Historic Environment Scotland. This work will ensure that our thatched buildings are appropriately recognised and will ensure that designations are fit for purpose.

Scotland has a long tradition of using thatch, and it has one of the most diverse ranges of thatching materials and techniques found in Europe. However, the number of traditional thatched buildings is decreasing, with around 300 buildings known to still exist. Those that survive are important in helping us understanding this traditional skill.

As part of this project, we will be reviewing thatched buildings that are currently listed as well as assessing unlisted thatched buildings which may meet the criteria for listing. We will be looking at the category of listing and updating the listed building records, as well as considering if in some cases it may be appropriate to remove the listing.

As there are around 300 buildings eligible for review, the project is planned to take place over the next two years (2016–18). This work will involve site visits, research and consultation with owners and local authorities.

5 Our Publications

You can find our free and retail publications online.

We also publish all of our designation decisions and you can find these on our heritage portal, along with our designation map and text searches.

6 Garden Inventory Refresh

We are in the final stages of a project to reassess 18 gardens and designed landscapes added to the national inventory of gardens and designed landscapes in the 1980s and 90s mainly for their collections of plants and trees. Some of these no longer meet the criteria for designation. Others, such as Ardkinglas and Strone in Argyll and Bute, Leckmelm in Highland, and Branklyn in Perth, are going strong, and remain among Scotland’s finest gardens. For these, we have fully updated their online record. This work formed part of a longer project to review a total of 42 sites where we felt a fresh assessment was especially merited.


All of our decisions and updated inventory records can be found on our Heritage Portal.

7 Contact

Please phone us on 0131 668 8914 or email us at designations@hes.scot for more information about any of our projects.

You can also write to us at:

Designations Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH

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