The Historic Monuments Council was first established in 1971 under the provisions of the Historic Monuments (Northern Ireland) Act 1971. Its current authority is derived from the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (the Order). Its roots rest in the Ancient Monuments Advisory Council 1926–1970.
Council is made up of fifteen members who span a wide range of experience and expertise in archaeology, historic monuments and cultural heritage. The role of Council is to advise the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland on, inter alia, the scheduling of monuments, conservation of monuments in state care, maritime archaeology, industrial and defence heritage and Areas of Significant Archaeological Interest within Development Plans.
Council also offers advice to other government departments such as DARD, DRD and DCAL. In practice much of the Council’s advice is channelled through the Department’s Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Planning Service.
Current issues Council is considering include:
- Publications of records of archaeological excavations
- Recording and storing of archaeological artefacts
- Conservation of scheduled monuments
- Review of Public Administration
- Archaeological Research