Emily Brants


Surrey’s Historic Environment Record (HER) is maintained by the Heritage Conservation Team (HCT) at Surrey County Council. We are based in the Surrey History Centre Woking. Surrey HER is a comprehensive record of archaeological sites, finds and historic monuments for the county. The HCT Team use the HER to advise planning authorities and developers of the implications of proposed developments. It also provides information for the management, interpretation and conservation of Surrey’s historic environment.
My role within the HCT is that of Historic Environment Record Assistant. My colleague Andrew and I were recruited recently to assist the Historic Environment Record Officer Emily Brants with HER work. Now that Surrey has a full HER team we are lucky enough to be able to focus our attention towards community based projects. Alongside First World War Centenary projects we are beginning to think about archaeology and the National Curriculum. Work previously done with the Exploring Surrey’s Past website will be further enhanced through production of learning information from HER data to input into a project developed by another team in the Heritage Service. For the past few weeks I have been looking into how archaeology fits into the National Curriculum and how we might update/revise some of our HER records and make the data more accessible to school children and their teachers. Today I will be continuing this work, searching for interesting HER records that fit current themes within the National Curriculum. We are expecting a placement student to help with this project at the end of July. The student will be helping me to rewrite some of the HER data to make it more accessible. In preparation for the student’s arrival I will be rewriting one of the HER records currently on the ESP website to use as an example. This project will hopefully open up the HER and archaeology to a much younger audience.
The number and type of HER enquiries we receive varies from week to week. All HER enquiries are given a turnaround time of 5-10 working days. Other duties today will include ensuring that all enquiries (commercial or other) that were due this week have had a response. Time management is extremely important in this job as we all have a list of ongoing projects and tasks to complete on top of customer queries and enquiries.
If all goes to plan and there is time left in the working day my attention will also be focused towards our list of buildings of local interest. The aim behind this project is to create substantial summaries of buildings around the county, which are not listed on a national level. These will be input into Surrey’s HER together with any further sources of information either published or unpublished. I am currently working my way through the District of Mole Valley adding extra information about historic buildings of local interest to HER records or creating new records for those not currently on the HER. I have been using the wide range of sources available here at the archives in Surrey History Centre to enhance the records. So later in the afternoon I’ll pop down to the search room to consult a range of historic maps and other interesting sources.