The National Monuments Record (NMR) is English
Heritage's public archive and provides
information on the architecture and archaeology
of England. Anyone is welcome to consult the NMR,
either by visiting one of our search rooms in
Swindon or London, or by using our remote enquiry
service. The main archive is in Swindon, apart
from architectural records for Greater London
held in our London Search Room.
We aim to encourage the understanding of the
historic environment by providing access to the
historic archives of England's heritage and
preserving our unique archives and data for
future generations. We aim to set national
standards for the capture, curation and
dissemination of heritage archives and
information in partnership with others and to act
as a gateway to archives and information held by
What records does the NMR hold?
The NMR is home to ten million archive items,
which relate to England's buildings and
archaeological sites. These include material
deposited by many organisations as well as the
work of English Heritage's own survey staff and
photographers. Among our collections are:
Air photographs of England
The NMR houses the largest reference
collection of air photographs in England, around
four million in total. Our collection includes
images taken by the RAF and the Ordnance Survey
between the 1940s and the 19705 as well as
material taken by our own survey teams. Air
photographs provide a unique angle on any site,
allowing it to be seen in relation to its
surroundings, to identify changes through time or
to reveal features not clearly visible from the
ground such as archaeological sites. They are a
fascinating resource that can be used for a wide
range of interests ranging from those of local
historians to land use planners and environmental
Historic images of the buildings of
Our collections include photographs of many
parts of England, dating from the 1890s to the
present day, measured drawings, surveys and
written records. A wide range of buildings are
covered ranging from parish churches to
cathedrals and from stately homes to coal mining
settlements. Of particular value are our detailed
archives covering thematic or individual building
survey work carried out by the Royal Commission
on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME)
and English Heritage. We also hold a national
database of Listed Buildings. Architectural
historians, students, picture researchers and
local historians consult such collections.
time in Lower Cadsden, Princes Risborough,
Buckinghamshire c 1903.
Archaeologlcal records of England
The NMR offers a single point of access to
information on the archaeological sites of
England. A wide range of survey drawings and
reports carried out by the RCHME, the Ordnance
Survey and English Heritage complements the
detailed information held in our database indexes.
Detailed ground surveys of sites such as Avebury
and Maiden Castle are held alongside air photo
transcriptions of entire historic landscapes.
Examples include air surveys of the extensive
cropmarks of the Yorkshire Wolds and ground and
air surveys of the rich prehistoric landscape of
Salisbury Plain. These records provide a vital
resource for students, archaeological consultants
and local historians alike.
Circus, London c1880
How do we store our archives?
The NMR's collections are stored in a state of
the art archive at the NMRC in Swindon, where
temperature and humidity are regulated to prevent
them from deteriorating. We catalogue 150,000
items each year. Our staff also work to ensure
that our databases of archaeological sites and
historic buildings are kept up to date and
accurate. We have also begun scanning photographs
and drawings in order to make them accessible
electronically and are working towards making our
catalogues and databases available via the
What services do we offer?
You are welcome to visit our public search
rooms in Swindon and London. There is no need to
make an appointment, although a telephone call in
advance can save time when you visit. We also
offer a range of remote enquiry services, many of
which are free. You can ask our staff to search
for information on your behalf by writing a
letter, sending a fax or completing the enquiry
form on our website. We also hold regular free
exhibitions at our gallery in Swindon and run a
programme of lectures, evening classes, guided
tours and research days.
Who uses the NMR?
A wide range of people consult the NMR. Many
are members of the public, some belonging to
local or family history societies, who are
interested in knowing more about their local area.
Others are specialists such as archaeologists,
planners and architectural historians.
How do I use the NMR?
For a free information pack on NMR services or
details of our opening times, please contact:
NMR Enquiry and Research Services, English
Heritage, National Monuments Record Centre,
Swindon, SN2 2GZ. Tel: 01793 414600, Fax: 01793
414606, email: www.english-heritage.org.uk/
Or complete a free enquiry form on our website
at Wheatley, Oxon