Our History

Whether the ancient monument is a Roman camp, a Queen Anne house, or a neo-classical building of the early nineteenth century, they have all had their part in the history of this country, and, preserved, they all tend to diversify the monotony of modern life, and ought at all costs to be saved.

Professor Thomas Frederick Tout

Why 'Ancient Monuments Society'?

Before the concept of listed buildings was introduced in the 1940s, there was less of a clear distinction between ‘ancient monuments’, ‘ancient buildings’, and ‘historic buildings’, and therefore the Ancient Monuments Society provided the organisation with the most relevant and up-to-date name that any organisation trying to defend the historic environment could have chosen. The 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act introduced the concept of Scheduled Monuments Consent and from then on ‘ancient monuments’ were firmly thought of as archaeology.

Throughout its history, the Society has taken a broad interest in heritage, as demonstrated by the range of casework it continues to review and comment on. Following the adoption of the 1979 Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act, the name Ancient Monuments Society ceased to describe what the Society does on a day-to-day basis. In October 2021 Trustees of the Society decided to adopt ‘Historic Buildings & Places’ as the working name of the organisation, along with a new Mission, Vision & Values, to add greater clarity.

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