We prepare all historic building records in compliance with the recommendations set out in the Historic England's Understanding Historic Buildings: A Guide to Good Recording Practice.


Why Record?

Records of historic buildings are generally compiled for one of more of the following reasons:

  • To inform the day-to-day and long-term management and use of buildings
  • To promote the understanding and appreciation of historical buildings
  • To secure an understanding of a building and its significance to inform the preparation of a scheme of conservation, repair or alteration
  • To inform decisions relating to the approval or implementation of a scheme of development as part of the planning or conservation process
  • To document buildings, or parts of buildings, which will be lost as a result of demoltion, alteration or neglect
  • To assess the significance of groups of buildings, settlements and landscapes, and provide a basis for strategic heritage management
  • To provide underpinning data for thematic, topographic or preiod-specific works of synthesis by recording a sample of surviving structures
  • To inform academic research across a range of disciplines


What Level of Survey Do I Need?

There are four levels of record which are widely adopted. They range from Level 1 (photographs and brief notes), to Level 4 (full historical and architectural analysis, supported by a comprehensive drawn and photographic record. These levels give guidance about how to compile records as well as defining a common standard for Historic Building Surveys. The 4 levels are:


Level 1

Level 1 is essentially a basic visual record, supplemented by the minimum of information needed to identify the building's location, age and type. This Level is generally contributory towards a wider study and is normally used to gather basic information on a large number of buildings.

They are generally of exteriors only and occasionally include sketch drawings.


Level 2

Level 2 is a descriptive record, made in similar circumstances to Level 1 but when more information is required. Both the exterior and interior will be seen, described and photographed. The examination of the building will produce an analysis of its development and use, as well as including the conclusions reached.

These usually include basic plans & other drawings, but these are not normally comprehensive.


Level 3

Level 3 is an analytical record, and will comprise an introductory description followed by a systematic account of the building's origins, development and use. The record will include an account of the evidence on which the analysis has been based, allowing the validity of the record to be re-examined in detail.

It will aslo include all drawnm and photographic records that may be required to illustrate the building's appearance and structure and to support an historical analysis. 


Level 4

Level 4 provides a comprehensive analytical record and is appropriate for buildings of special importance. Whereas the analysis and interpretation emploed at Level 4 will clarify the building's history so far as it may be deduced from the structure itself, the record at Level 4 will draw on the full range of other sources of information about the building and discuss its significance  in terms of architectural, social, regional or economic histroy. The range of drawings may also be greater than at other levels



If you wish to discuss Historic Records in more detail, or for further information on any of our professional services please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can be reached on 01342 833448 or by emailingThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, you can complete the enquiry form below and we will contact you immediately.