Archaeology and historic sites

Our region is rich in archaeology and historic buildings. We've got a duty to record and preserve these important sites through the planning system.

Managing development

The location of known and suspected archaeological or historical sites must be taken into account when developments are planned. This is even the case for work that doesn't need planning permission (such as utilities or permitted development in medieval towns) and land management (such as forestry).

It is important to identify and consider issues at an early stage because this is taken into account when decisions are made. You'll need to incorporate all relevant archaeological information into any planning application.

We can provide information and advice, you should contact us as soon as possible. In some cases there might be a need for further investigation through a desk based appraisal or a field evaluation.

Sites in Dumfries and Galloway

We maintain a database called the Historic Environment Record which contains details of around 22,000 sites we're aware of that have archaeological and historical.

You can use our interactive map as a quick guide to sites or contact us to make an appointment to view the full record or request an extract:

There is a charge if the data you're requesting will be used for commercial purposes. The current rate is £30 per hour plus VAT with a minimum charge of £60 plus VAT.

Report a find

Under Scottish law any finds (not just precious metals) that might be archaeologically or historically important can be claimed by the Crown through the Treasure Trove system. It is an offence not to declare a find.

You must report any finds to the Treasure Trove Unit so they can assess if objects are significant and should be preserved. Not all items will be claimed but a reward will be paid based on the market value of any items that are retained.

You should always try to:

  • record the location of your find as accurately as possible
  • reduce any potential damage to the object
  • inform the archaeology service

We can offer help and advice to report something you've found. The details of your find might also be added to our Historic Environment Record.

We also provide information and advice if you want to undertake metal-detecting.

Page last updated: 08/02/2024
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