Law and the Historic Environment


The protection, management and investigation of the historic environment takes place within a legal and policy framework. This course provides an introduction for all those who need to gain a broad understanding of the main legislative, regulatory and policy regimes for the historic environment, the ways in which those regimes are being applied at present, and the implications in practice for those working in this area. 

The course is designed for those responsible for the conservation of the historic environment, whether in the professional or voluntary sectors. This will include those holding, or working towards, supervisory or higher levels of responsibility within professional practices, as well as those in curatorial or consultancy roles.

The programme will conclude with a group discussion, led by a panel made up the course tutors. We will discuss recent and current cases, legislative changes and other legal issues affecting the conservation of the historic environment. 

The course will cover the law of England only.

Programme details

09.00- Registration and coffee

09.30- Welcome and Introduction

09.40- Law and the Historic Environment: introduction & overview 

10.00- What the law protects 

  • Listed buildings/the extent of listing
  • Scheduled monuments
  • Conservation areas
  • Parks/gardens/battlefields
  • World Heritage Sites
  • Non-designated assets 

11.00- Coffee/tea         

11.30- Making Changes affecting the Historic Environment 

  • Planning permission for development affecting heritage assets and their setting
  • Listed building consent
  • Scheduled monument consent
  • Archaeology      

13.00- Lunch   

14.00- Human Remains, archaeology and the law  

14.45- Archaeological Investigations: things to be aware of  

  • Land ownership and rights
  • Finds agreements and other contracts
  • Protected species and habitats
  • Contamination 

15.45- Tea/coffee

16.15- Panel discussion

17.00- Course ends


Description Costs
Standard course fee £305.00
Hot Lunch- 3 Courses £19.25


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking.

Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:



Mr Roger Thomas

Course Director

Roger Thomas is an archaeologist who spent most of his career working for English Heritage (now Historic England). He is now an Honorary Research Associate in the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford. He is also a barrister. He teaches regularly for the Department of Continuing Education.

Mr Nigel Hewitson

Course Director

Nigel Hewitson is partner at Davitt Jones Bould solicitors. He was Legal Director of English Heritage from 2001-2006 and is joint author of ‘Mynors and Hewitson’ (Listed Buildings and Other Heritage Assets, Sweet and Maxwell (5th edn), 2017), the standard reference work for lawyers, planners and all others working in this area on the law concerning the protection of listed buildings and other heritage assets in the UK.

Mr David Woolley


David Woolley KC: formerly Landmark Chambers.

Mr Robin Barnes


Robin Barnes: Associate, Planning, Maples Teesdale Solicitors.

Dr Louise Loe


Louise Loe: Head of Heritage Burials at Oxford Archaeology.


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.


Accommodation is available for this course at Rewley House.

Please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices with Continuing Education Residential Centre, please do quote the course name as a reference at the time of booking. 

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.